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New Report Shows Status Quo on Infrastructure Hampers Competitiveness

U.S. Manufacturers Won’t Reach Economic Potential Without Public–Private Partnership and Commitment to Infrastructure Investment

Washington, D.C. – A new study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and conducted by Inforum at the University of Maryland offers a view of the economic benefits the U.S. economy would reap with a more concerted effort to address the nation’s infrastructure needs. In total, the study finds that a targeted and long-term increase in public infrastructure investments from all public and private sources over the next 15 years will:

  • Increase jobs by almost 1.3 million at the onset of an initial boost;
  • Grow real GDP 1.3 percent by 2020 and 2.9 percent by 2030;
  • Create a progressively more productive economy, which, due to cumulative effects through time, will benefit from a $3 return on investment for every $1 invested in infrastructure by 2030; and
  • Provide Americans an increase in take-home pay after taxes—a $1,300 net gain per household by 2020 and $4,400 per household by 2030 (measured in 2009 dollars).

The report also reveals a decade of troubling trends in infrastructure formation, such as a 3.5 percent drop per year in the volume of highway, road and bridge investments as well as further sharp decreases in mass transit, aviation and water transportation infrastructure investment. Last year, the NAM sounded the alarm on this troubling trend by partnering with Building America’s Future to survey manufacturers about their perspectives on the state of infrastructure in the United States. Some 70 percent responded that American infrastructure is in fair or poor shape and needs a great deal or quite a bit of improvement.

“Those of us in the business community are painfully aware of the deficiencies in our transportation infrastructure and the direct impact it has on our competitiveness,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. “It is time to come together to solve this problem and ensure a broad range of economic opportunities. Our future depends on it.”

“The United States is stuck in a decade-long period of decline that will eventually harm job creation, future productivity and our ability to compete head-to-head with companies all over the globe,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “As we sit idle, our competitors are churning out investments in their infrastructure. As this study demonstrates, substantial economic benefits result from a targeted and long-term increase in public infrastructure investments from public and private sources. Manufacturers call on Congress to consider this sobering data as it acts to fulfill its well-established responsibility of facilitating commerce in the United States. We need legislation passed to help fund transportation and infrastructure.”

“This research helps confirm what engineers and executives both know: The quality and quantity of current U.S. infrastructure is deficient, and these deficiencies are already hampering economic growth,” said University of Maryland Professor and Inforum Executive Director Jeffrey Werling. “We know that well-planned infrastructure investments can provide high, long-term returns to investment, and they can also boost jobs and growth in the short term. It is time to cut through the political smoke and mirrors to make a commitment to stronger and smarter infrastructure investment.”

For more information on the study, visit www.nam.org/infrastructure.


The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly one million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.  BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. For more information about BCA, visit www.bcatoday.org.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.08 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Inforum is a research center at the University of Maryland. Since its beginning over 45 years ago, it has been dedicated to improving business planning, government policy analysis and the general understanding of the economic environment. Inforum works with government and private-sector organizations to investigate a variety of issues using its unique structural economic models of U.S. and other national or regional economies.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2014
NAM: Jamie Hennigan (202) 637-3090
BCA: Nancy Wall Hewston (334) 834-6000

About Nancy Hewston

Nancy Hewston
Vice President of Communications, Strategic Information and Federal Affairs
334-240-8725 | Fax: 334-241-5984
Email Nancy Wall Hewston

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