Austin, Texas – Today, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said the Federation’s continued advocacy efforts were making a difference, but warned that the industry was threatened by a coalition of outside interest groups.
“For nine decades, the ATA and its federation of 50 state trucking associations has been the leading voice for our industry in Washington, DC and every state capitol throughout the country. That’s volume, reach and history no other voice in trucking can claim, and few industry associations can match,” Spear said in his annual State of the Industry Address. “Today, we can proudly declare our efforts are making a difference.”
Spear pointed to the “very real, data-backed narrative” at the core of ATA’s advocacy, a narrative that “was shared during six Congressional hearings, allowing ATA to steer the legislative process toward your Tier 1 priorities.”
“This steady cadence of truth and common sense is what you expect of your association. It cuts directly through the rhetoric and emotion peddled by our foes: trial lawyers chasing jackpot justice, self-promoting union bosses and delusional environmental extremists,” he said. “Together, they constitute a clear threat to our industry’s ability to grow and support our nation’s economic security.”
Spear cited ATA’s victories on lawsuit abuse – particularly in Iowa and Florida – as evidence that the association can achieve victories across the country, providing a template for continuing to fight on labor issues and increasingly unrealistic environmental mandates from California.
“We fight to win. We are committed to helping our state association partners shape legislation, strategies and outcomes,” he said. “We’re helping fund awareness, so state lawmakers understand what’s at stake and do the right thing.
“ATA’s support of our state trucking partners is not limited to just one issue. Today, we stand alongside the California Trucking Association as they file suit against the California Air Resources Board… an unelected, ill-informed band of extremists who have no clue the impact their timelines and targets will have on our economy,” Spear said.
“These are today’s stakes, which underscores why advocacy matters. Without a seat at the table, our industry – our way of life – could look entirely different over the next decade,” he said. “Which is why we must evolve and adapt more quickly than any threat that comes our way.”
For excerpts of Spear’s speech, click here.