Goods Movement Coalition Applauds President’s Call for Infrastructure Development to Support Economic Competitiveness

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Statement by Executive Director Leslie Blakey on President Obama's State of the Union

The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) Executive Director Leslie Blakey commended President Obama’s emphasis on infrastructure’s role in supporting the economy during his 2015 State of the Union address:

“In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama turned his sights on policies to help the U.S. economy continue to improve by investing in infrastructure to give our farmers, manufacturers, retailers, builders and small-town businesses a greater competitive edge. His focus in recent months has been on leveraging federal dollars by partnering with private capital and using creative financing strategies; he has challenged federal executive branch departments to set up investment centers, remove barriers and engage with state and local partners. This is the right path, but one on which we have allowed our worldwide trading partners to have a head-start. Well-executed facilitation from the federal level can help America catch up and develop the world-class infrastructure needed to support our burgeoning economy.

Policies, announced last week, to incentivize innovative financing and private investment in public infrastructure will be a boon, particularly, to our freight network as gateways and corridors often encompass private industry partners and facilities that have a natural interest in improving public system parts. Adding new municipal bonding instruments, accelerating TIFIA projects, speeding permitting, and providing “gap” funding that rewards projects with high levels of non-federal funding commitments can all be part of the solution to address our goods movement infrastructure deficiencies.

The President is right to bear down on all that the Administration can do to leverage public-private partnership opportunities, which are considerable for U.S. infrastructure. To maximize their impact, these efforts must be matched with a well-funded multi-year surface transportation authorization with a strong commitment to dedicated freight project funding. Congress and the Administration will need to work swiftly in the New Year to find a mutually agreeable path forward that prioritizes investment in the transportation system that built our nation’s commerce.”

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About the Coalition
The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) is a diverse coalition of more than 60 public and private organizations dedicated to increasing federal investment in America’s intermodal freight infrastructure. In contrast to single mode interests, CAGTC’s main mission is to promote a seamless goods movement transportation system across all modes to enhance capacity and economic growth. For more information on the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, please visit http://www.tradecorridors.org.

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