President-elect Donald Trump has apparently tagged Elaine Chao for U.S. Transportation Secretary. It is one more appointment in a long list of (rather controversial) ones. While American Auto Shipping is not a political website, we personally feel that Transportation Secretary is an important job especially for the auto transport industry.
The question, though, is how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry to begin with.
A brief expose on Elaine Chao
Chao has been a public servant since the days of George H.W. Bush (Bush Sr). In H.W.’s administration, she served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Under his son, George W. Bush, she served as Secretary of Labor. Now, under Donald Trump, she will likely serve as Secretary of Transportation.
What does this have to do with auto transport? Well, nothing, except for the fact that Chao is going to be overseeing pretty much the entire industry – or, at least, the things that make it go.
The Department of Transportation was created “to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense.” You likely know a bit about the DoT, and every state nowadays has their own version of it.
Elaine Chao has been around Washington for a long time, so it seems she has the experience she needs to do a decent job. Not only that, but she has already worked in the Transportation Department, part of which oversees the car shipping industry.
Now, How Elaine Chao Might Affect the Car Shipping Industry
Well, with the DoT overseeing most everything to do with the Interstate Highway System, she’s probably going to have a hand in a lot of policies. And while we don’t know what Trump’s infrastructure plan is going to look like (toll roads will probably be a thing on many, many more highways), Chao will likely have a large hand in overseeing its implementation.
Considering what Trump’s tax plan is, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. But we don’t know for sure how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry.
At the same time, though, we know her track record. Her time as Secretary of Labor was marred by a few scandals, but nothing major. Organized labor didn’t like her much, but as Deputy Transportation Secretary there was nothing on her record of note. No real red flags. This bodes well for the auto transport industry.
Car transport companies have complained about the state of the roads, particularly interstate highways, for years now. You’ve likely seen poor conditions on your own daily travels. But it’s particularly worrisome for the auto transport industry, as they use those routes every day. More importantly, they’re hauling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cargo.
If toll roads increase in prevalence, auto shipping prices on many routes may go up. While Chao may not be directly responsible for this, it would be on her if your car transport prices go up. This is called accountability.
Personally, I don’t think the auto transportation industry is going to see many price hikes. Saying you’re going to invest billions into infrastructure is one thing, but red tape is almost the definition of the U.S. government nowadays. This tends to result in plans getting delayed and implementation of vital repairs left undone.
Construction takes years. Tolls take a long time to implement, both in how you collect and how much to collect. This means that we likely won’t see long-term fruits of Trump’s transportation bill during his first term.
Can I get quotes to ship a car?
No matter how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry, it will still keep chugging along. And you can get free quotes to ship a car any time by filling out our free form or contacting us at our toll-free number. If you choose the former you’ll get free quotes emailed to you from top-rated car transporters. If you choose the latter, you can speak directly to one of our live agents. Both, however, can get you free quotes from top auto transport companies to ship your car. American Auto Shipping is dedicated to getting you the best quotes from the best companies. So no matter how you get your quotes, use American Auto Shipping to get them.