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Manufacturers Challenge Next President: Close $1 Trillion Infrastructure Gap


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States, released “Building to Win,” an ambitious, new initiative to revitalize the nation’s failing infrastructure. In a vote by the 121-year-old association, the initiative was unanimously adopted by the NAM board of directors.

Both major party presidential candidates have indicated their desire to address infrastructure needs in 2017. As plans move forward, NAM will work collaboratively to encourage the next president and lawmakers to address our most pressing infrastructure priorities and to ensure that investments not only strengthen manufacturing in the United States but also deliver world-class infrastructure for the American people.

“Building to Win” identifies many of the most serious infrastructure challenges in America, offers solutions to our problems and provides a menu of possible funding options to consider to pay for the more than $1 trillion investment that is needed.

“Our failing infrastructure is an embarrassment for our nation. Our ability to compete successfully in the global economy is being held back by roads and bridges in disrepair and ports and airports operating beyond capacity,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “America’s infrastructure is vital to the future of manufacturing in America – to acquire materials for game-changing products, to get our employees to work and to transport what we make to consumers in our country and around the world. Whether it is the astounding costs borne by businesses and individuals because of delays and detours or the inadequate means to get products to market and keep costs down, transportation infrastructure in America needs both an urgent fix and a modern reimagining.

"We must seize this moment," Timmons said. "The presidential candidates are offering their support for infrastructure renewal, and bold action in Washington is finally within reach. Manufacturers want to make sure that money is not wasted and lawmakers tackle the real problem so we can build world-class, 21st-century infrastructure. ‘Building to Win’ achieves these goals and is a powerful proposal that lays out real problems and real solutions.”

Infrastructure will be the NAM’s signature issue going into 2017, and manufacturers are mounting a major effort now to help candidates and lawmakers in Washington understand what America needs to build to win in a competitive global economy.

NAM also launched an advertising campaign featuring a newly released video that exposes the extent of our infrastructure needs and the opportunity for manufacturers and our nation’s policymakers to build toward progress.

Key recommendations from the agenda include the following:

  • Implement strong accountability measures to ensure funds go to projects offering the greatest value for businesses, families and the economy.
  • Relieve highway bottlenecks and repair America’s crumbling highways and bridges. Act now to repair and upgrade unsafe and neglected bridges.
  • Create a reliable, user-based, long-term funding stream so users can have the safe, efficient highways needed.
  • Quickly develop a plan to accelerate the implementation of NextGen air traffic management technology and upgrade runways and airports to world-class standards.
  • Take an expedited approach to deepen ports, upgrade aging locks and enhance intermodal connections.
  • Eliminate the maintenance backlog for public transit and expand public transit reach to more communities.
  • Invest in Amtrak and promote regulatory and fiscal policies that incentivize continued record levels of private capital reinvestment in railroads.
  • Create an independent, bipartisan transportation commission.
  • Streamline regulations to reduce the cost of delayed infrastructure.
  • Promote new energy infrastructure investments as a means of increasing U.S. infrastructure’s resilience to climate change.
  • Robustly expand public–private partnerships for drinking and wastewater projects.
  • Streamline regulatory processes across multiple agencies and levels of government to foster the use of cutting-edge broadband communications infrastructure.


Learn more about the “Building to Win” agenda.