Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
October 19, 2018

A modern and well-functioning transportation network is crucial to maintaining the nation’s economic vitality and competitiveness. Congress recognizes this, but still has not provided adequate means to fully fund and rehabilitate our critical infrastructure. In fact, the Highway Trust Fund, which helps to fund the construction and maintenance of the nation’s highway system, faces a nearly $20 billion annual deficit. Most recently, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016 to address our deteriorating infrastructure. While these bills were a welcomed first step, more must be done.

President Trump has put forward an infrastructure plan with the goal of investing at least $1.5 trillion to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The administration’s infrastructure plan has four core objectives: (1) to stimulate $1.5 trillion in new investment through $200 billion in direct federal spending; (2) shortening the federal permitting process to two years; (3) investment in rural infrastructure; and (4) improving the training of our workforce.

Currently, there is not any viable legislation that incorporates the Administration’s infrastructure proposal. Although, on July 23rd House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster released an infrastructure plan discussion draft to further the conversation about the current state of America’s infrastructure, the draft can be read here. Congressional leadership, however, has indicated that passing a large scale infrastructure package is not a priority and have instead pointed to their preferred method of passing smaller infrastructure specific reauthorization bills, such as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization.

Finally, NAW sits on the Infrastructure Working Group coalition, which consists of nearly 120 manufacturing, construction, agricultural and finance trade associations, labor unions, and other diverse stakeholders. The Infrastructure Working Group has been working together to urge Congress to pass a large-scale comprehensive infrastructure package, that will help to revitalize the country’s infrastructure and drive economic growth in all sectors of the economy.