AEM CO-HOSTS INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM WITH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
First-ever presidential candidate forum on infrastructure was moderated by The Wall Street Journal, hosted by United for Infrastructure, on the UNLV campus.
This afternoon, presidential candidates Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer discussed the future of the nation’s infrastructure at “Moving America Forward: A Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, Jobs, and Building a Better America.” The event, hosted by the nonpartisan nonprofit organization United for Infrastructure, was the first-ever presidential candidate forum focused on infrastructure issues and was held on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). All the leading candidates from both parties were invited to participate in the forum.
"AEM was thrilled to co-host today’s historic forum that elevated infrastructure policy to the 2020 presidential stage," said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “From rural broadband to interstate highways, American jobs and U.S. economic growth heavily rely on infrastructure investment.
“But this infrastructure conversation shouldn’t end here. We are hopeful that congressional leaders were listening tonight and will harness the momentum this forum has generated and bring it back to the Capitol as Congress considers FAST Act reauthorization and the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. We encourage them to reach across the aisle and work with their colleagues to finally reach consensus on dedicated infrastructure investment.
“Voters have already declared 2020 the ‘Manufacturing Election.’ Any candidate who wants to make it to November’s ballot must keep infrastructure, and the equipment manufacturing industry’s 1.3 million men and women, at the top of their list.”
The forum was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s Executive Washington Editor Jerry Seib and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Jeanne Cummings and included questions from voters from Nevada and across the nation. Candidates were asked how their infrastructure agendas will improve communities, strengthen the economy, create jobs and promote safety and national security. The candidates discussed how infrastructure affects every American’s life: access to jobs, education and health care; withstanding climate change and resilient systems that increasingly face environmental disasters, fires, and drought; how our country can stay globally competitive, and more.
The host committee for the forum included the Association of Equipment Manufacturers; International the Union of Operating Engineers; Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; North America’s Building Trades Unions; Transport Workers Union of America; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Public Transportation Association; American Council of Engineering Companies; American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Value of Water Campaign; Airports Council International-North America; and Build Together.
A recent poll of voters in key swing states found broad support for infrastructure: 89 percent of voters agree that infrastructure is a unique opportunity for politicians to set aside partisan debates and actually work together to get something done, and 68 percent think politicians in Washington devote too little attention to providing clean air and water to the next generation and repairing our roads, bridges, and public transportation system. Ninety-one percent support bold federal investment over the next decade to rebuild and modernize America’s infrastructure. Support for a national infrastructure plan is consistent across demographic groups, including rural and suburban voters.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.