Will Offer Message That Transportation Investment Is Essential to Economic Growth and Recovery, Debt Reduction
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Investing in our nation's transportation systems and other critical infrastructure is a key way to create economic growth and reduce the national debt, LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan will tell a summit of national business, government and policy leaders this week.
The summit – "Changing the Conversation: Advancing a National Infrastructure Improvement Agenda" – is sponsored by LIUNA, as well the American Planning Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Building America's Future Educational Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
O'Sullivan will join an 8:30 a.m. Friday plenary panel discussion of the impact of infrastructure investment on economic growth. Also on the panel will be leaders from Siemens Corporation, American Water Company and a former leader of Dell Computer.
O'Sullivan will note that periods of economic growth and deficit reduction have traditionally come as investment in fundamental infrastructure increases. Transportation improvements in particular open up corridors of local economic development, improve business productivity and create jobs.
"We're concerned that nations such as China are out-investing us three or four to one when it comes to infrastructure," O'Sullivan said. "Meanwhile there are 2 million men and women who are ready, willing and trained to build America's infrastructure but are jobless. We can invest in critical needs now, cut our debt, put people back to work, spur economic growth and leave behind real assets for taxpayers and future generations."
In particular, O'Sullivan said a new Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill has the potential to create 8 million jobs, while failure to act would cost the country another 2 million jobs. The bill has been stalled in Congress for more than a year and under the current proposal investment would be slashed by a third.
"What we need now, more than anything, is courage from our political leaders – the courage to come together and figure out a solution to this problem," O'Sullivan said. "We can't continue to play political games as millions remain out of work and as commuters, businesses and our economy suffer the negative impact of a decaying, congested and outdated transportation system."
LIUNA – the "build America union" – has been a long-term vocal advocate for investing in the nation's transportation systems and other basics, such as water resources and energy systems.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America
SOURCE Laborers' International Union of North America