Doug Peterson and Jane Garvey: What Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Gets Right

Doug Peterson and Jane Garvey: What Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Gets Right

With some of his first words as president-elect, President Donald Trump made clear that repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, airports and water systems will be a priority early in his presidency. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become … second to none,” he said in November.

This is welcome news for American workers and communities concerned about our health and safety; the cost of goods and services; long-term economic growth and productivity; and our competitiveness internationally.

The need for significant additional investment has been widely reported, with various estimates reaching such astonishing levels as $1.4 trillion by 2025. While increased sustainable sources of funding will be essential, governments are faced with fierce competition for limited resources and simply won’t be able to meet their infrastructure needs on their own – nor should they. However, by focusing on the role the private sector can play, the president has also opened the door to a broader discussion of what else might work.

Since the election, much attention has been given to a proposal released by his campaign that would rely on a significant tax credit (82 percent) for private equity investments in infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, this has attracted misplaced skepticism about the capacity of the private sector to support broad-based infrastructure investment.

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