Infrastructure Investment Can Spur Economic Growth

Oct 6, 2010

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce could not agree more with the bi-partisan panel of experts, led by two former transportation secretaries, that concluded our declining transportation system will undermine our ability to compete in the global economy.

In fact, on September 23, the Chamber released a scientific assessment of the transportation system - the Transportation Performance Index - and a robust economic analysis that demonstrates the direct link between how well the nation's transportation system meets  transportation performance and GDP as well as the types of foreign direct investment that create American jobs. The Chamber discovered that the United States as a whole is lagging far behind nearly every state in the union when it comes to the supply, quality of service and capability of all modes of transportation to accommodate future growth: So much so that the nation is leaving a trillion - that's trillion with a "t" - dollars on the table in lost economic prosperity.

Add these facts to the article by Ezra Klein on Sunday and it's clear that it would be a crime to miss the opportunity for large-scale reforms and reinvestment strategies for maintaining, modernizing and expanding critical transportation systems. The Chamber is pleased that our crumbling transportation infrastructure is finally gaining the attention it deserves in the media: Now is the time for our elected officials and other decision-makers to take notice and prompt action. Investment in transportation will not only put people back to work in well-paying jobs in the near term, but a system that meets the needs of businesses and the economy will boost jobs and economic growth in the long run.

The Obama Administration and Congress must stop talking about being pro-infrastructure, and act. In highways and transit, freight railroads, aviation, and ports and waterways there are major legislative opportunities that to date are stuck for lack of political courage to deal with how to pay for getting the job done. Let's get on with it - the economy is waiting.

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