Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Roaring into the '20s

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

If you’re the resolution-setting type, you already know the adage to celebrate the small wins. You ran that first mile. You wrote that first page. You took your first lesson. You saved that first dollar. Goals achieved and progress made is a result of a lot of small wins.

Celebrating the small stuff is great and all, but at the end of this long decade that we began in recovery from an economic crisis that closed the doors of many trucking companies, I’m ready to celebrate the big stuff. And as we roll into 2020, we have reason to celebrate some big wins for trucking.

First, the highway bill.  The Legislature passed Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway funding plan, the largest Arkansas history, in April. The first phase of that bill is in effect. In Oct., fuel taxes increased by 3 cents per gallon and 6 cents per gallon on diesel to fund roads and bridges. The casinos currently in construction across the state will guarantee $35 million annually for infrastructure. And when voters go to the poll in November 2020, they will be able to approve making a half cent sales tax permanent to give state highways, city streets and rural roads the money it takes to maintain and support commerce across this state.

The details and dollar signs of this achievement are too big to fit into a paragraph, but there it is. If you use those roads, this is your win. If you live in one of the 86% of Arkansas counties that depend solely on trucks to deliver goods and connect your community to the rest of the country, this is your win.

The second big win is still fresh: the passage of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, the trade deal that will replace NAFTA. As I write, it’s only been a few hours since the House of Representatives approved the agreement in a 385-41 vote. It was long-awaited and bipartisan (and if you’ve been paying attention, it was also only a day after an impeachment vote that was not at all bipartisan).

This trade deal is new, but it’s big. Trucking may not be in every headline about international commerce and trade, like we are for infrastructure, but we are the middle man that connects the ports to the plains. We are carrying Arkansas rice to the docks before it makes its way to Chinese tables.  Even when products are ‘made in America,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean that every part of that product was made here. Maybe the sum of all the international parts were assembled here, but trucks probably brought most of those pieces of the puzzle together.

This is our win, too. And don’t expect me to stop celebrating these big milestones for trucking any time soon.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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