No one could have predicted the toll the coronavirus pandemic would take on the U.S. economy, businesses and jobs. As the severity of the pandemic diminishes, American businesses are slowly beginning to reopen and rebuild. In response, leaders in Washington have enacted a number of policies to help the country weather the storm, but Congress needs to do more to jumpstart our struggling economy.
For the trucking industry, a barrier to recovery that must be addressed is the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on new heavy-duty trucks and trailers. ATD and the Modernize the Truck Fleet Coalition it leads is launching “Suspend the FET” week this week advocating for Congress to suspend the 12% FET on heavy-duty trucks to the end of 2021. Now is the time to call on the country’s lawmakers to suspend the FET and reinvigorate the industry that is fundamental to our economy and recovery.
Not only does the trucking industry ensure a flow of necessary goods and essential medical supplies, it also supports 7.8 million American jobs. Unfortunately, with government stay-at-home orders and closures spanning coast to coast, truck manufacturing facilities and their dealer partners have been forced to suspend or drastically scale back operations, leaving its workforce vulnerable.
Due to the pandemic, heavy-duty truck sales in the U.S. fell 62.5% in May 2020 compared to the same time last year – the lowest point since 2011. Suspension of the FET, which routinely adds $12,000 to $22,000 to the price of a new truck, would immediately spur the sales of newer, cleaner heavy-duty trucks and more importantly retain and support truck dealership and industry jobs. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) is circulating a House Democrat-only letter to House Democratic leaders urging them to include FET suspension in an economic stimulus bill that the House may consider next month.
“Suspend the FET” week is the perfect time for truck dealers and other trucking industry stakeholders to contact House Democrats and ask them to sign the Pappas FET suspension letter. A sample letter to use when contacting Democratic Members of Congress is available here. To find your Member of Congress, visit the congressional database.
Please provide feedback on your congressional contacts and any requests for follow up information to the ATD legislative office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your efforts to Suspend the FET Now!
For more information on “Suspend the FET” week, please see the MTF Suspend the FET issue brief here that helps explain how suspending the FET can immediately spur truck sales, help the economy recover and protect jobs.