Today’s Pickup: U.S. Chamber calls for fuel tax increase

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for a 25-cent fuel tax increased to pay for infrastructure projects. ( Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Rivera )

Good day,

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking the Trump Administration to increase the federal fuel tax 25 cents per gallon. President Thomas Donohue told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the Chamber sees this as the easiest path to raising funds for infrastructure improvements, but acknowledged it would be a difficult vote to pass. The Chamber estimates it could raise $375 billion over 10 years.

“I’ve been pushing this for a long, long time, but now gangs of people are pushing it,” Donohue said.

In his State of American Business speech last week, Donohue pushed the modernization of infrastructure as a primary theme. Donohue said the choosing of projects is important and they need to focus on national significance that maximize long-term growth.

“We need to rebuild our roads and bridges and modernize them for the technological changes to come, including driverless cars,” he said. “We need to expand broadband so every American can access digital opportunities in the new economy. We must revitalize our seaports and airports to handle the demands of our increasingly global and mobile economy. Water supply systems must be updated—many for the first time in a century—so that basic resources remain safe and available.”

Donohue also supported revitalizing the nation’s energy infrastructure, including the power grid and pipelines.

“These long-term, nationally significant infrastructure projects will enable serious growth and job creation,” he concluded. “But how do we pay for it? That’s a problem that has dogged the debate for ages.”

Did you know?

17 retailers with more than 100 stores filed for bankruptcy in 2017, but only 3 actually shut down operations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many suppliers, though, were left accepting pennies on the dollar for invoices.


“We cannot build a 21st century economy on 20th century infrastructure. This year can and must be the year of major infrastructure investment. We have the political will, the bipartisan support—and we certainly have the need. Now it’s time for action.”

Thomas Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president

In other news:

Everything must go

Retailers filing for bankruptcy puts pressure on shippers to continually monitor their customers’ overall business health to avoid financial problems of their own. (Wall Street Journal)

Logistics platform nabs $12M in funding

Bringg, a delivery logistics platform to help retailers and logistics companies streamline the supply chain, has raised $12 million in a new round of funding that it said will help it expand. (VentureBeat)

Transportation agencies see a connected future

Transportation agencies across the country see an infrastructure made up of connected and autonomous vehicles, but have a long way to go to make it a reality. (R&D)

Air freight capacity shrinking quickly

As e-commerce continues to grow, and issues with pilot strikes and weather in Europe abound, excess air freight capacity has rapidly disappeared. (Supply Chain Dive)

Diesel prices top $3 nationally

The average price of diesel fuel topped $3 a gallon last week for the first time in three years, climbing 3.2 cents to a national average of $3.028 per gallon. (Transport Topics)

Final Thoughts

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has joined the call for a national fuel tax increase of 25 cents to pay for infrastructure projects. ATA is also supportive, as are many in transportation, but getting any tax increase passed in an election year is likely to be tough go, as Chamber President Thomas Donohue recently acknowledged.   

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

One Comment

  1. Someone would be wise to inform Mr. Donohue that it isn’t the tax payers issue on getting you to 21st century technology. The government has consistently over spent and under performed with the spending given ESPECIALLY when it comes to roads. Find other ways to bring in revenue rather than, what will likely become, an extreme gas shortage around the nation.