We all agree that America’s infrastructure must be updated and brought into the 21st century. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been leading efforts to build consensus on how to fund, build and deliver infrastructure that will improve manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Today, the NAM—in partner with leading industry and labor groups—released four principles for Congress and the administration to use as they draft an infrastructure bill. The four principles are as follows:
- Infrastructure, including transportation, energy, broadband, water and wastewater, must be a national priority to ensure future economic prosperity.
- Robust, reliable, long-term federal funding is essential.
- The United States should unleash the resources of the private sector as partners in addressing our infrastructure needs.
- The United States should adopt policies to deliver modern infrastructure more quickly and at less cost.
The NAM continues to #bethesolution by building bipartisan support for the policies that will make America the best place for manufacturing. This begins by investing in our aging transportation and water infrastructure systems, building infrastructure to meet the needs of the U.S. domestic energy renaissance and expanding our world-class broadband infrastructure. In “Building to Win,” the NAM outlined manufacturers’ infrastructure priorities for congress and the administration. To show your support for infrastructure, sign the Friends of Manufacturing petition now.
Below are the full principles agreed upon by the NAM, Bipartisan Policy Center, Business Roundtable, National Governors Association, North America’s Building Trades Unions, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
- Infrastructure, including transportation, energy, broadband, water and wastewater, must be a national priority to ensure future economic prosperity. Many of our systems for building and maintaining transportation, energy, water and wastewater infrastructure are in crisis, and there is a growing desire among the American people for our leaders to move beyond the status quo. While the nation’s broadband infrastructure is world-class, more could be done in rural areas not yet served by high-speed networks. This country needs the new administration and Congress to work together to ensure that our nation’s infrastructure supports the health and safety of Americans and provides our communities a foundation for future economic prosperity.
- Robust, reliable, long-term federal funding is essential. Federal infrastructure programs, such as the Highway Trust Fund and the revolving loan funds for water, are underfunded and unable to meet current demands. Critical needs are going unaddressed regarding transportation, energy and water, undermining economic growth and public safety. With $3 trillion needed for this infrastructure over the next decade, states, cities, counties and other public and private providers of these critical services must continue their important role, and the federal commitment to infrastructure must be restored. Furthermore, with respect to broadband, federal decision-makers should continue to work in partnership with the private sector and states to foster infrastructure deployment in remaining unserved areas.
- The United States should unleash the resources of the private sector as partners in addressing our infrastructure needs. By encouraging public-private partnerships (P3s) and expanding financing programs, the United States can increase efficiency, maximize public value and attract additional capital that can be deployed to meet our urgent transportation, energy and water. Removing barriers and providing incentives for P3s will allow public agencies to share the long-term costs and risks of infrastructure projects as well as benefit from private-sector expertise and innovation. Regarding financing, the United States has a vibrant tax-exempt debt market that has financed trillions of dollars of infrastructure projects. Complementing this successful model with an expanded set of financing programs, such as private activity and direct payment bonds and tax credits, would ensure that all sources of private capital can be engaged.
- The United States should adopt policies to deliver modern infrastructure more quickly and at less cost. By expediting permitting, modernizing procurement practices, promoting innovation and committing to project analysis that focuses on long-term risk management, the federal government can extract greater value out of limited funds and support the delivery of higher-quality, longer-lasting infrastructure. Government, industry and labor must work together to implement these changes while also promoting employment standards that increase both job quality and access and ensure that we are leveraging infrastructure investments to utilize the safest, most skilled and most productive workforce in the world.
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