President Donald Trump has announced a plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure.
Trump dedicated $200 billion in his proposed budget for infrastructure, which he says can be leveraged for $1 trillion investment. The plan aims to reduce the permitting time for infrastructure projects and utilize private sector capital and expertise.
Other items in the plan:
- Rural America will receive grants to rebuild bridges, roads and waterways.
- States and cities will receive grants to meet their own infrastructure challenges.
- Qualified projects of regional and national significance, such as those created under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, will receive loans.
American Soybean Association (ASA) Governing Committee member Bret Davis, of Ohio, and directors Kendell Culp, of Indiana, and Gerry Hayden, of Kentucky, were among a number of soybean farmers and industry stakeholders that joined Trump in Cincinnati on June 7 to highlight the economic importance of the inland waterways system and the need to invest in upgrades to the locks and dams that enable the system to serve as an efficient mode of moving commodities, such as soybeans.
Davis, a soybean farmer from Delaware, Ohio, said "we appreciate and applaud the president for the attention he is placing on infrastructure needs, especially the emphasis that this event today places on our inland waterways system, which is an often overlooked aspect of our transportation infrastructure. Soybean farmers know the impact the waterways have on our bottom line and it is good to see the President and policymakers recognizing that as well."
Upgrading the inland waterways infrastructure is a top priority for ASA. Working with industry partners and policymakers, ASA is actively supporting action on a major infrastructure initiative in 2017 that provides funding to address priority needs to modernize locks and dams and other vital infrastructure.
“We’ve long maintained that the quality of our infrastructure networks in the United States—road, rail, waterways and ports—is directly connected to the competitive advantage we have over other soybean producing countries," added Culp, who farms in Rensselaer, Indiana.
"If we do not invest in modernization of this infrastructure, we lose our competitiveness in global export markets," said Hayden, a soybean grower from Calhoun, Ky. "We are very pleased to see President Trump acknowledge the importance of investing in projects to improve these vital aspects of our supply chain and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to advance an infrastructure package this year.”
Source: White House, American Soybean Association