A White House plan to leverage $200 billion in federal funds in order to complete $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements, released on Feb. 12, has received qualified support from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
“As major shippers, retailers face challenges every day as they work to move freight quickly, efficiently and safely to deliver products and meet consumer demands amid a rapid rise in e-Commerce,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement. “Through the framework released today, we hope bipartisan discussions will advance meaningful solutions to our infrastructure needs, including a long-term sustainable funding source that treats all transportation system users fairly.”
The NRF’s cautious acceptance of the plan may be due to uncertainty as to where specifically the $200 billion in federal funds will come from. Additionally, it’s not clear exactly how state and local governments, along with private sector investors, will translate the funds into $1.5 trillion worth of real-world projects.
The White House infrastructure outline includes four broad goals:
• Stimulating $1.5 trillion in new investment and infrastructure;
• Shortening the permitting process to two years;
• Investing in rural infrastructure; and
• Making improvements in workforce training.
“We appreciate the President’s attention to the urgent need to rebuild America’s outdated infrastructure, which has long been a priority for NRF and our members,” said Shay. “For decades, we’ve seen a lack of investment in infrastructure, and American companies, workers and consumers have paid the price.”
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