President Trump Is in Ohio Demanding Action on Infrastructure; Manufacturers Are Standing with Him.

Fixing our nation’s ailing infrastructure has long been a critical priority for manufacturers and manufacturing workers. President Donald Trump has made it a key issue in his administration, and he is planning to ramp up his pitch to Congress to take action during a speech today in Ohio.

President Trump will speak Thursday afternoon at the International Union of Operating Engineers to urge Congress to act on infrastructure:

President Trump is taking his infrastructure pitch to Ohio as the administration’s proposal for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. public works appears to be stalled in Congress.

The president is traveling to Richfield, Ohio, on Thursday to promote his rebuilding blueprint at a site for the International Union of Operating Engineers, a trade union representing heavy equipment operators.

“The message that the president is going to deliver is about the economic agenda that he has put forward and how that will unleash commerce and jobs and grow the wages and opportunities for our workers,” a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday.

“Like tax reform, a significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure has the power to supercharge manufacturing in America by improving our competitiveness while also making our families and communities safer,” National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement about the president’s visit. “The administration has already delivered on some important permitting reforms, and the president’s call for a substantial $1.5 trillion investment is the kind of leadership manufacturers have wanted for a very long time.”

Manufacturers have long advocated a badly needed overhaul of our nation’s infrastructure. As the NAM highlights in manufacturers’ “Building to Win” infrastructure plan:

  • Nearly 55,000 U.S. bridges are rated “structurally deficient.”
  • Shortfalls in drinking and wastewater infrastructure funding will cause the United States to lose nearly 500,000 jobs and $508 billion in GDP by 2025.
  • One in five miles of highway pavement is in poor condition.
  • Without immediate action on infrastructure, the United States will lose more than 2.5 million jobs by 2025.

In an op-ed penned earlier this month, Timmons and Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America, argued that congressional action is essential to improving the “sorry state” of our nation’s infrastructure:

Let’s be honest. Everyone knows that the sorry state of our roads and bridges, ports and waterways, airports and water-supply systems is hardly acceptable, and it’s getting worse. Democrats agree. Republicans agree. So, if we all agree, why not finally do something about it in the 115th Congress?

Why not honor our parents’ and grandparents’ hard work to build the infrastructure we rely on today by making it worthy of their shared commitment and sacrifice? It’s something we can do. It’s something we must do. And, as Washington has shown already, it’s something we have the capacity to do—if the drive is there to get it done.

Earlier this month, roughly 120 members of the Infrastructure Working Group (IWG), including the IUOE, participated in a two-day Capitol Hill Day organized by the NAM, which held roughly 50 meetings with leadership offices and with offices of members on the committees of jurisdiction. At the beginning of this year’s congressional session, the NAM led an IWG letter signed by more than 100 business groups to the Republican and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate, urging them to develop and advance an infrastructure bill.

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