ICYMI: NAM Board Chair David Farr Ahead of SOTU: “It's Time to Bring Our Roads and Bridges into the 21st Century”

Excerpts from The Hill


By: David Farr, NAM Board Chair & Chairman and CEO of Emerson

January 29, 2018

“One year ago, President Donald Trump gave his first address to Congress. He spoke of a new chapter for our country, a renewal of American prosperity and rising optimism.

“Now, on the eve of his second address, there is no denying that manufacturers in America are as confident as ever: 94.6 percent feel positive about their companies’ outlook according to a recent National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) member survey …

“[T]he best way to keep that momentum going is by focusing on more initiatives that take manufacturing in America to new heights. For our industry, a bipartisan infrastructure package is at the top of that list, and we believe the NAM’s infrastructure blueprint, ‘Building to Win,’ offers the best path to get there …

“Today’s crumbling roads and unsound bridges, outdated ports and waterways, congested airports and water supply breakdowns betray our parents’ and grandparents’ hard work and shared commitment to build a country worthy of our founders’ loftiest ideals …

“President Trump campaigned on and won the election, in part, on this promise, and he has kept the pressure on lawmakers to build the best infrastructure in the world. So why not finally do something about this important issue in 2018?

“Already, the Trump administration has taken positive steps. For instance, it has used its executive authority to update and streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects, which is helping to cut down on red tape and wait times.

“Congress, too, has taken notable recent action on infrastructure legislation, such as the Water Resources Development Act in 2014 and 2016 and the five-year highway bill in 2015. Nearly every one of those efforts was overwhelmingly bipartisan. So, there is every reason to believe that Washington can, and most importantly should, get an infrastructure package done this year.

“‘Building to Win’ provides the guide to getting the job done. It’s a bold initiative from manufacturers that seeks not only to repair our roads, bridges, rails, airports, ports and waterways, but it also attempts to revolutionize the very infrastructure that makes our American Dream possible.

“Given President Trump’s consistent focus on manufacturing workers in the United States, it’s the perfect basis for the administration to turn to as it finishes putting together its much-anticipated infrastructure proposal …”


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 $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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.

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