Society

Trump Steps Up Push For Infrastructure Investment

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump is to step up efforts over the coming week to advance his plans for major investments in U.S. infrastructure.

Trump called June 5 for the modernization of the air traffic control system by taking it out of the control of the Federal Aviation Authority, a move he argued would reduce travel costs and make flying safer, the Associated Press reported.

The president will travel to Ohio June 7, where he will speak about rebuilding the nation's dams and levies. The following day, mayors and governors will take part in a listening session at the White House, before Trump goes to the Transportation Department June 9 to discuss deregulating processes associated with the construction of roads and railways.

"It doesn't matter who you are, whether you are farmer in the Midwest, or a mother driving your kids to and from school, or a worker or a college kid flying back and forth to school, you're affected by infrastructure," Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn said, according to AP.

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Trump's infrastructure plans have been held up by a series of controversies, including the focus on the alleged ties between his campaign team and Russia, as well as criticism of his actions after he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May.

Comey could once again grab the headlines as Trump seeks to refocus attention on infrastructure. The former FBI director is scheduled to testify before a Senate panel June 8.

The renewed focus on infrastructure comes as job growth has shown signs of decline. Though the U.S. economy created a monthly average close to 187,000 new jobs in 2016, the last three months have seen an monthly average of 121,000 new jobs.

Cohn added that infrastructure was "falling behind and the falling behind is affecting economic growth in the U.S. The president wants to fix the problems and he doesn't want to push these liabilities into the future."

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Trump hopes to see up to $1 trillion spent on upgrading roads, bridges, railways and dams, among other things.

Chris Barron, a Republican strategist aligned with Trump, thinks shifting the political focus to infrastructure projects could be a good move.

"I think we need to see Trump out of D.C. I think we need to see Trump out on the road. I think we need to see Trump engaging his base, firing up his base," Barron added, according to Reuters.

In May, Trump requested $200 billion from Congress for infrastructure over the next ten years. One of the goals of these investments will be to encourage local governments to lease infrastructure to the private sector.

Sources: Associated Press, Reuters via Business Insider / Photo credit: Andrea Hanks/Wikimedia Commons

Will Trump's infrastructure plans stimulate economic growth?
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