Ron DeFeo, AEM government and public affairs committee chair and president and CEO of Terex, and Dennis Slater, Association of Equipment Distributors (AEM) president, took part in a June 19, 2013, Senate roundtable discussion on the importance of infrastructure and the economy, followed by one-on-one meetings with key congressmen.
During the roundtable discussion hosted by the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC), DeFeo was given the opportunity to expand on the importance of infrastructure to the U.S. economy and for manufacturer competitiveness. He also discussed financing mechanisms.
“The previous generation invested in and built the federal highway system,” DeFeo told the senators present. “But we are the user generation that has failed to make the needed investment in infrastructure for our children.”
Also during the day, DeFeo and Slater met one-on-one with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). DeFeo also met with Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who has developed a bipartisan bill with creative ideas for infrastructure funding.
In these meetings, DeFeo reiterated the need for sustainability and certainty in infrastructure funding.
“In order to continue to grow our economy and create jobs, we must provide America with the tools they need to stay competitive and at the forefront of innovation,” said DeFeo. “The United States is currently ranked 23rd globally in infrastructure quality, which puts manufacturers at a disadvantage in their ability to compete on a global scale.
30,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure. The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee understands the importance of investing in a strong national infrastructure system and I appreciated our discussion about ways to work together to make that a reality.”
“American equipment manufacturers have grown increasingly concerned with the failing infrastructure system in our country and its effect on job growth and the economy,” said Slater. “I appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Democratic Senators and discuss ways to secure long-term funding for our infrastructure system in order to make sure it is viable for generations to come.”
Attendees at the DSOC roundtable represented manufacturing, construction, labor, engineering, real estate and financial services organizations.