AGC partners with National Association of Manufacturers to launch infrastructure coalition

Dive Brief:

  • The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have teamed up to help drive the national infrastructure agenda, according to Engineering News-Record.
  • The two announced the formation of the new coalition on Wednesday and said the partnership between the organizations would help the country's business community realize that the economic benefits of a significant infrastructure program would not be limited to direct construction activity.
  • AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr told ENR that increasing the quality of the nation's infrastructure — in addition to providing economic benefit to the construction industry — would help manufacturers be more competitive internationally.

Dive Insight:

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is also trying to influence the direction of any significant upcoming U.S. infrastructure program. The group recently announced the formation of a task force that it said will work with the Trump administration and lawmakers to identify the projects that will deliver the most direct benefits to cities. The task force will also try to advance the use of tax-exempt municipal bonds, as well as direct federal funding.

The task force is led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has overseen massive local infrastructure projects during his tenure. The group has already met with Congressional leaders and Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, to discuss their priorities.

A wide variety of groups have touted the economic benefits of a massive infrastructure funding infusion. In March, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its annual U.S. infrastructure report card, which gave the country an overall grade of D+. The ASCE said it would take $4.6 trillion by 2025 to make all the necessary repairs and improvements to the nation's infrastructure. This followed last year's ASCE report that found the U.S. is at risk of losing 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion in gross domestic product over the next 10 years if it can’t meet infrastructure funding requirements.

The president's proposed 2018 budget sparked some concern in the construction industry, as it suggested eliminating programs like Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants and the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment program. At the time, Trump said the cuts were necessary to allow for a wider, separate program, but there have been no additional details for the president's $1 trillion plan.

Many advocates of expediting an infrastructure program were disappointed that there was no reference to infrastructure spending in Trump's tax reform plan. The administration's proposal requires repatriation of foreign corporate earnings but does not set aside any of that revenue for infrastructure projects.

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Filed Under: Infrastructure Corporate News
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