Manufacturing in the U.S. is thriving. The country saw tax reform and improved regulations on the industry in 2018, which have both created the perfect conditions for sustained growth. As a result, manufacturers have been able to increase wages and improve benefits for industrial workers across the board, and it’s time to really ride the wave of this success by investing in improving our infrastructure.
As manufacturing and other related industries thrive, the need for improved infrastructure becomes even more pressing—insufficient infrastructure makes the job of transporting difficult at best and impossible at worst.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has assigned a D+ rating to U.S. infrastructure in both of the last two grading cycles, so there’s no doubt that change is due. Roads across the country are overcrowded, and in some cases, structures have crumbled into irreversible disrepair. In fact, it has been estimated that congested roadways cost manufacturers around $74.5 billion in transportation costs to move goods and materials by truck.
How Infrastructure Reflects the Economy
The condition of a country’s infrastructure has a close relationship with the country’s economic prosperity, which is why the World Economic Forum always includes an infrastructure category when measuring economic competitiveness. To continue to be a powerhouse in the world economy, the U.S. needs to invest in improving infrastructure.
The Plan for Moving Forward
The National Association of Manufacturers has a plan to improve U.S. infrastructure—it’s called “Building to Win,” and it details all of the challenges and solutions related to such an undertaking, including a plan for paying for the necessary repairs. But the association needs the support of government leaders if they want to get this plan off the ground. This is where a comprehensive infrastructure bill becomes even more important.
The country’s crumbling infrastructure is not a partisan issue, nor is it an issue that we can afford to push down the pipeline for another day. The nation’s roadways, bridges, waterways, ports, runways, wastewater systems, and more directly affect the lives of every American on a daily basis, in addition to affecting supply chain for entire industries.
There’s never been a better or more pressing time to invest in the country’s infrastructure! Let’s make it happen.
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