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  • Writer's pictureKayoumars Bakhtar

Building a Stronger America

The American Infrastructure Initiative

On February 12, 2018, The White House unveiled President Trump’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding of the United States Infrastructure:

I have enclosed with this message my Administration’s framework for rebuilding infrastructure in America. Our Nation’s infrastructure is in an unacceptable state of disrepair, which damages our country’s competitiveness and our citizens’ quality of life. For too long, lawmakers have invested in infrastructure inefficiently, ignored critical needs, and allowed it to deteriorate. As a result, the United States has fallen further and further behind other countries. It is time to give Americans the working, modern infrastructure they deserve.

To help build a better future for all Americans, President asked the Congress to act soon on an infrastructure bill designed to realize the following objectives:

  • stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new investment over the next 10 years;

  • shorten the process for approving projects to 2 years or less;

  • address unmet rural infrastructure needs;

  • empower State and local authorities,

  • and train the American workforce of the future.

The plan is broken up into four parts:

  1. Funding and Financial Infrastructure Improvements.

  2. Additional Provisions for Infrastructure Improvements.

  3. Infrastructure Permitting Improvement.

  4. Workforce Development.

To develop the infrastructure framework, I am transmitting today, my Administration engaged with Governors, mayors, Federal agencies, State and local agencies, Members of Congress, industry, and most importantly, the American people who depend on upgraded infrastructure.

Certainly, the contributions of those who participated in the development of this roadmap for the Congress to draft and pass a satisfactory infrastructure bill are commendable. Nevertheless, the product of those efforts cannot conceal the fact that the 21st Century America is first and foremost in need of a new, bold, national “strategic vision” capable of guiding a long-term infrastructure planning and development toward sustainable and prosperous future.

The intent in creating this forum is less about sharing my own ideas and more for sparking debate. In other words, to become a catalyst for stimulating meaningful thought and discussion and inspiring the visionaries to speak up.

The first proposed topic for discussion will be the establishment of an independent, strategic thinking, federal executive agency to be the United States’ most credible, forward-thinking and influential voice on infrastructure vision, policy and strategy. The Agency’s foremost responsibility will be to determine a “strategic vision” of America’s infrastructure up to 2050, to highlight long-term infrastructure needs considering that vision and to identify priority areas for action over the medium-term.

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