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February 13, 2018updated 12 Apr 2021 2:28pm

Retailers react cautiously to Trump’s infrastructure plans

The trade association representing US retailers has reacted cautiously to a $200bn plan announced yesterday by US President Donald Trump to revamp the US transportation infrastructure.

By Leonie Barrie

The trade association representing US retailers has reacted cautiously to a $200bn plan announced yesterday by US President Donald Trump to revamp the US transportation infrastructure.

Trump yesterday (12 February) said he wants Congress to authorise $200bn over a decade to rebuild the US’s “crumbling” roads, highways, bridges, railways, ports and airports. The president also hopes the US states and private sector will stimulate another $1.3 trillion in improvements. Included in the plans are measures to speed up project approvals.

He said the plans constitute “the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history,” adding: “We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.”

“For decades, we’ve seen a lack of investment in infrastructure, and American companies, workers and consumers have paid the price. From congested ports to deteriorating railways, roads and bridges, there is no shortage of pressing issues that must be addressed,” agrees Matthew Shay, president and CEO at the National Retail Federation (NRF).  

“As major shippers, retailers face challenges every day as they work to move freight quickly, efficiently and safely to deliver products and meet consumer demand amid a rapid rise in ecommerce.

“Through the framework released, we hope bipartisan discussions will advance meaningful solutions to our infrastructure needs, including a long-term sustainable funding source that treats all transportation system users fairly.”

However the measures are likely to face intense opposition from Democrats and Republicans, while the federal funding represents just a fraction of the $2 trillion that the American Society of Civil Engineers says is needed to repair US infrastructure. It could also entail Americans paying higher local taxes, fees and tolls.

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