Industry pitches trucking stimulus plan

The Obama administration will further study tax credits for new truck buyers following a Sept. 2 meeting with trucking representatives who outlined their plan to boost sales.

Ron Bloom, senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury department and Obama’s senior counselor for manufacturing policy, led the meeting with truck and engine OEMs, drivers, lease and rental companies, equipment manufacturers and fleet managers. A representative of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also attended.

New federal emission mandates have increased new truck costs, and combined with the recession, dropped sales more than 60 percent from 2006, coalition members told Bloom. The coalition proposed a short-term 10 percent tax credit buying Class 8 trucks with 2010 engines and a “green voucher” incentive for Class 6 and 7 trucks with 2010 engines.

“Due to the 2010 nitrogen-oxide requirements adding almost 10 percent to the cost of a new truck on top of the strained economy, further stimulus is needed to boost the new truck market,” said Kyle Treadway, American Truck Dealers chairman. “This would help strengthen our manufacturing base, create jobs and further reduce greenhouse gases.”

Navistar spokesman Roy Wiley said Patrick Charbonneau, the company’s vice president of government affairs, urged the administration to help remove emissions barriers in countries other than the European Union that prevent U.S. manufacturers from exporting trucks to these nations.

“Removal of such barriers could create additional jobs in the U.S. not only for OEMs, but for the vast supply base,” Wiley said.

The meeting followed a July 20 letter outlining the proposals to federal officials, including Bloom and the heads of several congressional committees and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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