Original Press Release
NAM to Convene Industry Coalition to Push for a Safe and Secure Infrastructure System
Press release date: August 8, 2007
Minnesota Bridge Collapse Highlights Urgency of Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 8, 2007 - The National Association of Manufacturers today announced the formation of the Alliance for Improving America's Infrastructure to address the urgent need to modernize the nation's roads, rails, ports and airports. "The strength of our economy and safety of our citizens depend on an adequate and secure infrastructure system," said NAM's President John Engler.
"Modernizing our nation's transportation infrastructure system has always been a concern for America's manufacturers," Engler said. This past March, the NAM's Board of Directors concluded that the deteriorating state of the nation's roads, rails, ports and airports is a major problem, and that the manufacturing community should undertake a major effort to rally support for broad-based investment in upgrades, expansion and modernization.
"Last week's tragedy in Minnesota offers riveting evidence of just how perilous the situation already is in many parts of the country, and has conveyed to us a sense of urgency to move quickly," he said.
"Together with the Department of Transportation, congressional leaders, manufacturers and other associations that share our concerns, we will aggressively seek solutions and resources to upgrade and modernize the transportation infrastructure system," Engler said. "Certainly, the safety of our citizens must be everyone's top priority. The events in Minneapolis underscore the danger when infrastructure fails.
"At the same time, a first-class transportation infrastructure is a key to our nation's economic security," Engler said. "Ever increasing traffic backups from coast-to-coast are impeding the ability of business to transport goods efficiently from state-to-state and town-to-town. Transportation costs are a major factor in our ability to compete in the global marketplace."
Former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO), an honorary chairman of the transportation infrastructure coalition, agreed with the need to address the issue. "I congratulate Governor Engler and the National Association of Manufacturers for their leadership on this important issue," Talent said.
"We must make a commitment to invest in our nation's infrastructure and break the funding logjam that plagues our transportation systems," Talent said. "This investment will help to make our roads and bridges safe, allow us to compete in a global marketplace, and create and sustain quality jobs throughout our country. Now, more than ever, we must band together and offer bipartisan solutions that move our country toward a secure infrastructure system."
"Our nation's deteriorating infrastructure must be restored to a safe and modern condition to meet the public's travel needs and industry's need to transport goods," said Bill Graves, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations and an honorary chairman of the coalition. "Our nation's highway system is the key to economic prosperity. We as a nation have ignored for too long the growing backlog of projects to repair, replace and expand our highway, bridge and tunnel infrastructure."
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
CONTACTS: J.P. FIELDER (202) 637-3089 KEITH McCOY (202) 637-3175