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Treasury Notes

 Importance of Infrastructure Investment for Spurring Growth

By: Monique Rollins and Ankur Datta
12/30/2016

Infrastructure investment is critical to America’s continued economic success.  Our nation must expand and modernize its infrastructure across various sectors to help ensure that the United States continues to provide businesses, both large and small, an environment where they can successfully grow and operate. Indeed, research has shown that well designed investments in infrastructure can increase long-term economic growth, productivity, and land values, while also providing significant positive spillovers to areas such as economic development, energy efficiency, public health and manufacturing. Improving our nation’s infrastructure will not only create economic opportunity for millions of Americans, but also improve their fundamental quality of life. 
 
In July 2014, President Obama announced an executive action to create the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide effort to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth. Two months later, the U.S. Department of the Treasury hosted a summit with public sector leaders and private investors to explore how to encourage public-private collaboration on infrastructure investment. Since that time, the Administration has introduced two key infrastructure-related proposals in the President’s Budget that would foster public and private collaboration on infrastructure investment – the creation of Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds (QPIBs) and the Financing America’s Infrastructure Renewal program (FAIR) – as well as a series of important revenue procedures and white papers.
 
To highlight the benefits of infrastructure investment and its potential impact on the economy, Treasury, on behalf of the Build America Investment Initiative, commissioned a study identifying 40 proposed transportation and water infrastructure projects across the United States of major economic significance, which can be found at the link below:

 
The study, authored over the past year by a team of third-party, independent infrastructure experts, highlights how investing in infrastructure projects may generate economic benefits for businesses, consumers, travelers, and residents across the country.
 
It should be noted that all project costs and benefits are based on assumptions and methodologies established by the authors. All of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors, and do not reflect those of Treasury or the Build America Investment Initiative.  A project being identified in this study does not necessarily make it suitable for federal funding.  Further, the project descriptions have been developed by the report’s third party authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Federal agencies with funding or permitting authority over such projects.

We hope that this work brings attention to the benefits of greater infrastructure investment in the United States including from state, local and private sources, and helps inform the public debate on this critical issue.  
 
One of Treasury’s core responsibilities is to promote the conditions that enable U.S. economic growth.  Working alongside other federal agencies as part of the Build America Investment Initiative, Treasury has helped support its broader efforts to fulfill this responsibility. Going forward, Treasury will continue to engage leading stakeholders across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement new ideas to promote infrastructure investment, and enable the United States to build a truly 21st century infrastructure.
 
 
Monique Rollins is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets and Ankur Datta is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Capital Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department.
 
Posted in:  Infrastructure
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