Infrastructure Week: Time to Build

May 11, 2018 - 1:15pm

President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

American infrastructure was once the envy of the world. Our expansive interstate system, bustling and modern airports, cutting-edge power grid, and other infrastructure developments were tremendous assets to our economy. But for decades these resources have been left to age and crumble, even as our economy and society have advanced dramatically. As a result, our people and businesses face gridlock, safety challenges, and logistical nightmares. It’s time to rebuild our infrastructure to improve productivity, increase safety, and create jobs.

As we mark Infrastructure Week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sending the message to policymakers that few other priorities have the potential to pack as big of an economic punch as infrastructure modernization. It would positively affect every business that ships goods, transports workers, uses broadband, or consumes energy—in other words, every business. That’s why the Chamber helped launch Infrastructure Week to serve as an annual platform for the conversation about how to strengthen the critical arteries of our economy.

Leaders on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged the need for a sweeping infrastructure modernization bill, which the Chamber has long said should include upgrades to roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water systems, and the energy grid. Unfortunately, action on such a measure during this election year will remain an uphill battle. The Chamber will, nonetheless, continue to push for progress, including pursuing two legislative opportunities to make inroads on parts of our infrastructure agenda.

We’re urging the House and the Senate to reach consensus on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), both of which carry opportunities to strengthen critical infrastructure. The FAA Reauthorization presents a valuable opportunity to reinvest in America’s airports and other aviation systems, while the WRDA will authorize investment in flood protection and hydroelectric structures.

These bills will support our goal of building a modern, efficient infrastructure system to support America’s 21st century economy. We will advance that mission this week with events across the nation bringing together business leaders, workers, government officials, and citizens to share ideas and build consensus. When it comes to modernizing America’s infrastructure, kicking the can down the road won’t make the problem go away. And the longer we wait, the harder the decisions will be and the more the projects will cost.

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About the Author

About the Author

Thomas J. Donahue
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.