November 3, 2021

We, the undersigned coalition of associations, representing agriculture, foodservice, trucking, warehousing, manufacturing, retail, construction, energy, and other key supply chain stakeholders, call on the Biden Administration to work with our industries to address the immense challenges impacting our nation’s supply chain.
 
While we represent different industries, we share the common burden of current supply chain disruptions, which are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods in the United States, with the holidays just around the corner.
 
As business leaders and proud Americans, we are firmly committed to this country's economic recovery. We are working to usher in a return to normalcy and striving to help all Americans enjoy a better way of life by providing them with access to the essential products and supplies they need.
 
We appreciate that you have called on your Administration to strengthen our supply chains and recently stated: “If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action[1].” In that spirit, we ask for your leadership on the following five actions:

  1. Younger Driver Pilot Program 
          We believe it is imperative to attract younger commercial drivers into our industries. We strongly 
          support a pilot program that will enable employers to create a two-stage, safety-focused         
          apprenticeship program to allow younger, qualified drivers – between the ages of 18 and 20 –
          who satisfy rigorous safety, training, and technology requirements to operate in interstate
          commerce. With 49 states and the District of Columbia already allowing drivers under the age of
          21 to get their commercial driver’s license and operate intrastate, this pilot program will provide
          a real opportunity to address current and future driver shortages by promoting a career pathway in
          trucking and developing a professional, qualified, and highly-trained emerging transportation 
          workforce.
 
  1. Promotion of Careers in Transportation and the Supply Chain

          We must work together to highlight the importance of transportation and supply chain jobs and
          how crucial they are to America’s families and communities. We encourage federal agencies,
          including the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Labor, to collaborate with industry and
          state and local partners to promote transportation and supply chain occupations, particularly
          commercial truck driving, as a career of choice. Commercial truck drivers enjoy stability, good
          benefits, and higher-than-average wages. We can improve the lives of many unemployed and
          underemployed Americans by giving them opportunities for advancement while boosting the
          economy.

  1. Flexibility in Vaccine Mandates
          Our industries are committed partners in the fight against COVID-19, and we unequivocally 
          support the use of vaccines to fight its spread. However, we are concerned a mandate will cripple
          an already strained supply chain. We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37%
          of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers. We ask for flexibility
          for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most
          of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.
 
  1. Hours of Service Relief
          Regulatory flexibilities, especially during emergencies, are vital to supply chain continuity. We
          continue to support last year’s changes to the hours of service regulations that give commercial
          truck drivers greater flexibility while improving safety and efficiency. We encourage the
          Administration to retain these changes and consider providing additional flexibilities that may be
          needed for the timely delivery of essential goods and that make sense from a safety and
          operational standpoint. Such flexibility is particularly important at ports that are open 24 hours to
          help alleviate current bottlenecks.
 
  1. Flow of Goods through Ports
          We encourage the Administration to continue to investigate the causes of inefficiencies at our
           nation’s ports, draw input from a wide variety of supply chain stakeholders, and work
           collaboratively to minimize the bottlenecks and operational practices that prevent the seamless
           movement of cargo through the supply chain. Through continued dialogue and information
           sharing, appropriate action can be taken to ensure resources and equipment are utilized
           efficiently and effectively to improve performance at our nation’s ports.  
 
We stand ready to assist in any way we can.
 
Sincerely,
 
Accessories Council
Agricultural Retailers Association
Agriculture Transportation Coalition
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
American Apparel & Footwear Association
American Bakers Association
American Chemistry Council
American Coatings Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Forest & Paper Association
American Foundry Society
American Frozen Food Institute
American Lighting Association
American Pipeline Contractors Association
American Supply Association
American Trucking Associations
AmericanHort
Associated Builders and Contractors
Associated Equipment Distributors
Associated General Contractors of America
Auto Care Association
Brick Industry Association
Commercial Vehicle Training Association
Consumer Brands Association
Convenience Distribution Association
Cotton Warehouse Association of America
Council of Fashion Designers of America
Decorative Hardwoods Association
Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.
Distribution Contractors Association
Energy Marketers Association
FMI – The Food Industry Association
Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association
Forest Resources Association
Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Independent Bakers Association
Independent Electrical Contractors
Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association
Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils
International Association of Plastics Distribution
International Bottled Water Association
International Dairy Foods Association
International Foodservice Distributors Association
International Franchise Association
International Warehouse Logistics Association
Manufacturer & Business Association
National Aquaculture Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Convenience Stores
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
National Automatic Merchandising Association
National Beer Wholesalers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Energy & Fuels Institute
National Grain and Feed Association
National Grocers Association
National Industrial Transportation League
National Milk Producers Federation
National Private Truck Council
National Propane Gas Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
National Roofing Contractors Association
National Sorghum Producers
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.
National Utility Contractors Association
NATSO, Representing America’s Travel Centers and Truck Stops
NCA – The National Confectioners Association
Next Generation in Trucking Association
North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors
North American Millers’ Association
North American Renderers Association
Pet Food Institute
Pet Industry Distributors Association
Portland Cement Association
Power and Communication Contractors Association
Power Transmission Distributors Association
PRINTING United Alliance
Retail Industry Leaders Association
SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
SNAC International
Southwest Council of Agribusiness
Specialty Soya & Grains Alliance
The Fertilizer Institute
Transportation Intermediaries Association
Travel Goods Association
Truckload Carriers Association
Turfgrass Producers International
United Fresh Produce Association
USA Rice
Western Peanut Growers Association
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
Wine Institute

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