Railroads, Like the Economy, Need Greater Certainty

Ian Jefferies

Things are not always as they appear.

Indeed, news reports and economic analysis such as a new IMF report indicate underlying softness in an otherwise strong economy marked by low unemployment and high consumer confidence.

Negative trends for housing starts, auto sales and exports likely helped sway 30 percent of economists to predict a near-term economic slowdown.

The rail industry – itself experiencing slightly lower rail traffic – is not in the prognostication business, it merely meets customer demand. And while traffic is down 3.2 percent year-over-year, it is relatively even with 2017 levels.\

But the point should be clear to policymakers: American businesses need fewer barriers – either tariffs or regulations – and more certainty. This means ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) while making progress in forthcoming China negotiations, removing unneeded tariffs while ending the threat of more, and ensuring federal agencies only regulate where needed.

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