INFRASTRUCTURE: This Bipartisan Issue Could Score Early Gains

GettyImages-511210818-compressorCEOs would like to see President Trump make good on one of his most-repeated campaign promises: to overhaul and repair America’s badly damaged infrastructure. The mid-February troubles at the Lake Oroville dam in California, which prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 nearby residents, seemed to underscore the urgency.

Among other things, believing that the president could use a bipartisan issue to score some early and needed gains for his policies, mid-market chiefs liked the fact that infrastructure revitalization attracts Democratic support as well.

“I ALSO LIKE THAT HE’S ENUMERATED EXACTLY WHAT HE WILL DO.”

“It’s a great way to reach across the aisle,” said David Cobb, CEO of MMI Outdoor, a military-gear maker. “I also like the fact that he’s enumerated exactly what he will do, with a specific list of projects, so that the spending doesn’t go out into some nebulous void and you never see what happens with the money.”

Trump “needs to stand tall and communicate a future vision” for improved infrastructure and also “the creation of new middle-class jobs for decades as this work gets done,” said Jeff Kiesel, CEO of Restaurant Technologies, which makes kitchen equipment.

Some business leaders said the president could tie cuts in corporate taxes to some promise by companies to invest in new infrastructure projects in the U.S., using funds that they would be able to repatriate at much lower rates. And some would like the president to be creative in what “infrastructure” encompasses.

For instance, Jason Hogg, CEO of Tritium Partners, likes the idea of including “community investment” by companies where their facilities are.

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Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.

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