US president Donald Trump’s call for a multibillion-dollar investment into infrastructure through public-private partnerships has been attacked for being overblown – and likely to benefit private companies at taxpayers’ expense. Karen E Thuermer reports.

US president Donald Trump wants the US to become an “infrastructure nation” and is calling for $1000bn for national rebuilding, the largest amount since the 1950s. Money for the plan, he says, would come from public and private funds.

Pundits are doubtful, however. Randall O’Toole, senior fellow at Washington, DC-based think tank Cato Institute, says $1000bn and the country’s infrastructure problems are overblown. “There are groups who want to make money off the federal government,” he says.

Mr O’Toole believes most US infrastructure is already adequately maintained through user fees. “The federal government is more likely to build new infrastructure than repair the old infrastructure,” he adds.

Mr Trump is suggesting public-private partnerships as an alternative way to pay for infrastructure by giving tax credits to private parties to build it. However, the infrastructure still must be paid for via tolls, user fees or taxes. “This means the taxpayer will pay for the infrastructure improvements anyway,” says Mr O’Toole. 

According to Mr Trump, costs will be offset by creating jobs and, hence, additional payroll taxes. But Mr O’Toole says what really counts is whether or not new infrastructure projects generate growth, more economic benefits and benefits to the national gross domestic product (GDP), and that Mr Trump’s plan would reduce GDP, not increase it.  

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
fDi Magazine

Global greenfield investment trends

Crossborder investment monitor

fDi Markets is the only online database tracking crossborder greenfield investment covering all sectors and countries worldwide. It provides real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation with powerful tools to track and profile companies investing overseas.

Click here to find out more about fDi Markets

Corporate location benchmarking tool

fDi Benchmark is the only online tool to benchmark the competitiveness of countries and cities in over 50 sectors. Its comprehensive location data series covers the main cost and quality competitiveness indicators for over 300 locations around the world.

Click here to find out more about fDi Benchmark

Research report

fDi Intelligence provides customised reports and data research which deliver vital business intelligence to corporations, investment promotion agencies, economic development organisations, consulting firms and research institutions.

Find out more.