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New Highway Bill Will Have Big Impact On Equipment Dealers

The Association of Equipment Distributors (AED) celebrated Congress’ passage of MAP-21, the nation’s new multiyear highway bill. Reauthorization of the surface transportation program has been the association’s top priority since the country’s last transportation law, SAFETEA-LU, expired on Sept. 30, 2009.

“This is a long-awaited, positive development for the construction equipment industry. Contractors around the country have been on life support over the last few years. This bill will provide much needed certainty for contractors, dealers and suppliers,” said AED 2012 Chairman Larry Glynn.

The 27-month surface transportation reauthorization will provide $40.4 billion and $41 billion for highway investment in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, respectively. The bill also contains important improvements to the project delivery process and provisions to allow for innovative financing of new projects.

Exclusive AED analysis finds that the $37 billion in annual funding guaranteed to the states under the Federal-aid Highway Program will create roughly $7.2 billion in market activity for equipment distributors (sales, rental, leasing and product support) nationwide over the next two years. The money spent at AED member companies will, in turn, generate $23 billion in activity in the broader U.S. economy.

AED’s estimates are based on a 2008 AED commissioned report by Professor Stephen Fuller of George Mason University that found each dollar in federal highway spending creates an average of 6.4 cents in equipment market opportunity. Fuller also found that each dollar spent on equipment generates $3.19 in direct and indirect economic activity.

AED thanks Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) for their leadership throughout the reauthorization negotiations, the House and Senate members who voted for MAP-21, and the hundreds of equipment distributors who flooded their congressional offices with calls, emails, and faxes urging support for the highway bill. Using AED’s key vote tool, you can see how your representative and senators voted on this important legislation.