Trump, Democrats Play Nice on Infrastructure

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

You’d think that President Trump and Congressional Democrats would be loathe to work together to get any kind of legislation enacted in Washington, especially as a presidential election cycle heats up. Right? That’s what I’d think, and I’m a very smart politics-knower.

But it looks like they’re going to give it a shot, though! Good on ’em!

No word from the president, who was busy after the meeting trying to influence policy at the Federal Reserve via Twitter. But that Tic-tac is a good sign. And, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, it was a “productive” meeting. And White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said as much, too.

Pelosi told reporters that they and the president agreed on two things. First, the entire package should be total $2 trillion, which is no small increase from the $200 billion Trump earmarked for infrastructure spending in his last budget proposal (the administration, for what it’s worth, claimed that $200 billion would seed an additional $800 billion in private spending).

Second, they agreed to meet again in three weeks to hear the president’s proposals for funding such a package – because, as Schumer pointed out, without Trump already on board it will be hard to move anything through the Senate.

The Democrats, in advance of their White House visit, sent a letter to the president saying any infrastructure package they would support must account for climate change, which is a priority on the left; and it must include “Buy America” provisions to keep all of this spending in the 50 states and create American manufacturing jobs, which polling shows is a priority for everybody.

You’ll recall that President Trump has signed more than one executive order regarding Buy America, which reveals that the administration understands just how popular these kinds of rules are, but does little else; the orders are more or less superficial.

“In terms of legislative policy and regulatory impact, there was none whatsoever,” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul recently told the American Prospect. “The practical effect of what the administration has done is virtually nothing.”

Maybe it’ll be in an honest-to-god, humongous and long-overdue infrastructure package that the president finally gets serious about Buy America? Time will tell. 

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work