President Trump Preparing ‘Sweeping’ Infrastructure Plan
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that President Trump’s administration is looking at a sweeping infrastructure plan.
“We are looking at infrastructure in many different ways, I would like to do energy infrastructure. I would like to do pipeline,” the veteran financial guru said.
The White House wants to use $200-B in federal funding to try to encourage more than $1.5-T in improvements over 10 years by relying on state and local governments and the private sector. It also wants to eliminate environmental hurdles to projects and sell off federal assets.
“I’d like to do anything that will help LNG, terminals, shipping. We would like to revise the US shipping industry, which has been dormant for many years. We would like to export Crude Oil and Natural Gas to Europe and to Asia,” he said.
There are early signs that European leaders would be willing to support the building of LGN (liquefied natural gas), import terminals, said Mr. Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council that advises President Trump.
“They want LNG, they want it badly, and we’re going to do everything we can to accommodate them,” Mr. Kudlow said.
Fitch Ratings said in a research note earlier this year it could be “challenging” for states and local governments to come up with funding. The plan “includes limited additional federal funding and lacks a long-term solution for the federal highway trust fund, which serves as the primary source of existing federal infrastructure funding,” Fitch said.
Democrats want $1-T in new federal spending and say the government must find new revenue sources to pay for crumbling roads. The US gas tax has not been raised since Y 1993 and Congress has shifted more than $130-B to shore up the highway trust fund since Y 2008.
Auditors say the trust fund will need an additional $107-B through Y 2026 to keep pace with current spending.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proclaimed that the strong US economy’s continued success depends largely on infrastructure.
“Corporate earnings certainly have been very, very strong. there’s no question about that. And it’s also no question that market’s job is to look ahead,” Secretary Ross said. “I think a lot will have to do with whether infrastructure gets the kind of treatment that it really deserves.”
Secretary Ross, speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in Washington, was asked whether the prospect of diminished corporate earnings in the near future will be a drag on the economy. He added that the only real obstacle to passing an infrastructure bill is its funding.
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