Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Trades Express Concern as Trump Wavers on Infrastructure Promises

Throughout the 2016 presidential race, President-elect Donald Trump made repairing America's infrastructure a central plank of his campaign. He spoke of rebuilding the nation's roads, bridges, airports, as well as schools, hospitals, pipelines, water treatment plants and the electrical grid.

However, since the election he has tempered his promises, as have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chief of Staff-designate Reince Preibus. The president-elect himself said that the infrastructure plan won't be a core part of the first few years of his administration.

It's a significant retreat, considering Trump had promised to commit between $500 billion to $1 trillion toward the project.

Trade associations have expressed their concerns. Brian Turmail of the Associated General Contractors of America said it was difficult to tell if Trump's advisers don't know what the plan is, or simply don't want a plan at all, stating simply, "We're worried."

Others have begun organizing lobbying efforts to remind Trump and his transition team of the vital need for the infrastructure program, and the candidate's promises. The American Road and Transportation Builders Assocation prompted its members to send letters to their representatives, to hold their feet to the fire regarding the promises made by the Trump campaign.

The promise was that tens of thousands of jobs would be created by the infrastructure plan, and the building trades stand ready to tackle those jobs and complete the ambitious agenda set forth by Mr. Trump. Now is certainly not the time to back down, and we stand with our fellow unions in urging the new administration to make rebuilding our nation's infrastructure a top priority, and not allowing it to be reduced to an afterthought.

The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is online at

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