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TRUCKING INDUSTRY TELLS SHIPPERS TO SHARE THE BURDEN OF GOVERNMENT-IMPOSED COSTS

        TRUCKING INDUSTRY TELLS SHIPPERS TO SHARE THE BURDEN
                     OF GOVERNMENT-IMPOSED COSTS
    CINCINNATI, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major address to the nation's largest freight shippers' group, the president of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said today that the nation's shippers "must share the burden" of government-imposed costs which threaten the trucking industry.
    Speaking here at the annual meeting of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITLeague), Thomas J. Donohue, ATA's president and CEO, said that the trucking industry, which is projecting a 1-1/2 percent profit margin in the first half of 1991, can no longer absorb government-imposed costs alone.
    "You have been the beneficiaries of the trucking industry's reduced costs and increased productivity of the 1980s," Donohue said. "Now you must help us control the government-imposed costs that threaten our companies, our jobs and our ability to serve the American shipping public."
    According to Donohue, government taxes, safety regulations, environmental standards and labor issues will cost the trucking industry $31 billion this year alone.  By the year 2000, that total is expected to top $73 billion a year.
    "Many of these rules and regulations are necessary, even valuable.  In fact, the trucking industry pushed for many of them," Donohue said.  "But no matter how necessary these government regulations are, one fact remains:  they cost money.  And the trucking industry can no longer absorb these costs alone."
    Among the safety regulations that the trucking industry has pushed for were the implementation of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL), funding for increased roadside inspections, and random mandatory drug testing.  Donohue estimates that costs associated with these and other safety regulations exceed $3 billion a year.
    "Our efforts have made the air cleaner, and our roads and workplace safer.  And at the same time, a productive trucking industry has given U.S. goods a competitive advantage over those produced elsewhere," Donohue said.  "Now all of us must calculate these major increases in costs -- and include them in the charge for our services.  The resources have to come from somewhere.  The trucking industry does not print money."
    Some of the regulations are not so beneficial, Donohue said.  For example, Donohue cited a Department of Transportation (DOT) estimate that the trucking industry paid between $1 billion and $3 billion a year just processing the paperwork associated with paying state highway taxes.
    "Many of these costs are unique to trucking," Donohue said.  "But other government-imposed costs impact all industries, as well as consumers and citizens," Donohue said.
    And when government passes responsible laws to keep our highways safe and the environment clean, we all have to step up and pay the bill."
    -0-                 11/18/91
    /CONTACT:  John Doyle of the American Trucking Associations, 703-838-1912/ CO:  American Trucking Associations ST: IN:  TRN SU: TW -- DC007 -- 1276 11/18/91 09:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1991
Words:465
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