How is the infrastructure push affecting American jobs?

Channel: Fox Business
Published: 0 hours ago

Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck on the push to improve America's infrastructure. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wa...

We'Re not talked about what's happening with the nation's roads and bridges. It is no secret that the infrastructure in our country is crumbling, but the latest effort in washington to do something about the chronic problem has ended in failure. President trump walked out on a meeting with house speaker, nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer last month. Would an infrastructure bill ...
produced jobs that we need? Turn: america, let's bring in ben brubeck, vice president of regulatory labor and state affairs for the associated builders and contractors sir good morning good morning, apologize now if we do have to break in for any coverage of the president as he is set to speak in france. Buton this country, you know we talk about freedom, not being free. That'S been something: we've talked about a lot this week, but our infrastructure in this country is crumbling over the over the decades that we've seen it really builds up after world war. Two and now you say that this would bring american jobs to our country. How many do you think? Well, unfortunately, the infrastructure bill as dead, as you said, and the real losers are the american people. We'Ve got roads and bridges and ports and disrepair we've about a two point: six trillion dollar ten-year infrastructure deficit on top of what we already spent on infrastructure every year, and we know that about for everybillion dollars. We invest in infrastructure, creates about 6300 jobs. So do the math, certainly any infrastructure investment will be welcomed because it's a safety issue. Americans really want a reliable, safe infrastructure and the real question is: where do we go from here? Well, let's go back in history, then remember when president obama was touting and trying to sell to the american people and to the republicans his infrastructure spending bill and many say that the that that act actually wasn't effective in hiring.

There was a bridge here in new york, the alexander hamilton bridge. You know we found out later on that it was actually a chinese engineering firm that was hired to oversee the repairson. That bridge we've seen the same thing happen and we did see the same thing happen in california with the bay bridge in san francisco. You know if it comes down to cost and if an american worker is too expensive, states are gon na look elsewhere for funding and excuse me for projects yeah absolutely estates are certainly gon na, be taking the lead on infrastructure as a result of washington failure to Come up with a comprehensive plan, we've seen a number of states entertain, increasing the gas tax, for example, finding other revenue streams and looking into public-private partnerships. We'Ve also seen some states look into ensuring fair and open competition, which is something we could see. Happeningat, the federal level too, just this week, governor greg abbott from texas, signed a bill that would ensure a fair and open competition and reduce costs on their state and state funded construction projects. It'S the 25th state to do so, and so we could see president trump do something like that here in dc on federal and federally assisted projects through an executive order through d regulatory action right. Well, so you really say - and i think you might have a great point here - that it really should be up to the states, because it seems that if over the years, if you study how infrastructure spending has been allocated, it seems like there's more waste at thefederal Level than there is at the state level - and i go back to that - california example of the bay bridge - they realize that they actually rejected federal funding for infrastructure because they were they. It was just cheaper to go the overseas route, which the federal government would not allow them to do. The federal government when you get money for state or local project and you get federal dollars, there's a lot of red tape that comes along with that. So there's arguments that state and local procurement officers have less red tape and get projects to market a lot faster and that ultimately benefits taxpayers. But it's not a it's.

Certainly not a perfect and efficient systemso, we'll be seeing more and more states and localities. Finding more revenue and doing public-private partnerships and other things to really get projects to market faster. How do we make sure that, if infrastructures approved it may not be until after the next election, but if infrastructure is removed? How do we make sure that the that those promises are actually delivered on if they say that these are gon na create american jobs? How do we make sure that that actually happens? Well, there's got to be a bipartisan solution. Everyone'S got to come together and come up with a comprehensive plan, a reliable funding stream. The other issue we've got to deal with, which our associations been workingon really hard, is the skilled, labor shortage. Right now, we've got about a 440 thousand, a shortage of skilled labor right now in the industry. So if we were to add another trillion or two trillion dollars for over ten years, we've got to figure out how to how to find the skilled labor to to build those projects and rebuild america and that's a big threat. All of our members are saying: that's their number. One issue right now across the country is finding the skilled labor, and i think technology and some other innovations are gon na - are going to fill that gap. But it's still a very big pressing issue which affects our schools, our technical collegesand, just the entire business committee. Unfortunately, but thank you for being here, it is an important topic. I know that we need to see america's roads and bridges fixed.

We hope it happens soon. Ben. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

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