Orange County’s business community is watching closely the first 40 days of the Donald J. Trump administration. Thus far, the President expressed support for the U.S. Export Import Bank, appointed reformers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Education, and a seasoned cabinet secretary at the Department of Transportation, among others. OCBC calls on Congress and the White House to advance sound economic strategies to enhance the economic prosperity for all. First, OCBC urges the House Ways and Means Committee to eliminate the medical device tax immediately under the Affordable Care Act, as Orange County is the medical device capitol of the United States and this arbitrary and duplicative tax harms companies in a disproportionate way. Second, OCBC encourages the Department of Transportation to approve the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) application for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing for the I-405 Improvement Project funded under Measure M2. Third, OCBC urges The Department of Customs and Border Patrol to immediately grant Port of Entry status to John Wayne Airport and Ontario International Airport, relieving financial burdens for international commerce and tourism passengers visiting Orange County. Fourth, OCBC calls on Congress to look for thoughtful ways to ease unattainable mandates under the Clean Air Act for areas like Southern California and the Central Valley of California. The one-size-fits all approach to air quality for all 50 states is unworkable for areas of the country such as Southern California. Finally, OCBC encourages the President and Congress to develop balanced and comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants are the life-blood of our society and our workforce.
Orange County is a majority minority county, with no one ethnic group surpassing in population numbers. OCBC supports a bipartisan solution in Congress for borders as lines of defense against those who enter illegally and against those who pose security threats to this country, temporary worker programs to meet the needs of employers for high- and low-skilled jobs that cannot be filled by U.S. workers, and an earned pathway to legal status for undocumented workers. Irrespective of style, OCBC is encouraged by the substance of the first forty days on America’s new government. The Council looks forward to working with the federal government to advance our mission of enhancing the economic prosperity and quality of life of Orange County.
Over the last month, President Trump greenlighted major energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. The President even begun to unwind the heavy burdens of the EPA’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, streamlining federal regulations to spur economic growth. OCBC urges a continued pivot away from federal policies that stifled economic growth in many industries over the last several decades. For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Sr. Vice President.