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Wednesday
Aug232017

White House: Infrastructure Plan to Come After Congress Handles Tax Reform

AASHTO Journal

August 23, 2017 

A top aide to President Trump told reporters Aug 15 that the administration plans to first pursue a tax reform plan in Congress this autumn, then turn to the long-promised infrastructure investment plan.
Gary Cohn, director of the president's National Economic Council, said the infrastructure plan would "come on the heels" of a tax overhaul, Politico reported. "We hope it's this year," he added.
While the president and others in the administration at times this year said they were close to introducing a project investment proposal for Congress to consider, the administration has so far offered only a few details and Congress has found its agenda clogged after numerous attempts to pass health care legislation.
Cohn's remarks to reporters, made at New York's Trump Tower where the president held a press conference after signing an executive order to speed environmental reviews and permitting for planned projects, indicated that the infrastructure plan might be pushed into 2018.
According to Politico, Cohn also said:
"We need to get taxes done between now and Thanksgiving. We need to get infrastructure going. As soon [as] tax comes out of the House and goes to the Senate, we'll put infrastructure in the House."
During the press conference, Trump was asked why he thinks he can get an infrastructure bill through Congress.
"Infrastructure is something that I think we'll have bipartisan support on," Trump said. "I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure."
Thursday
Aug172017

NAFTA Helps Small Business Manufacturers Grow

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2017 

Nearly two decades ago, Drew Greenblatt purchased a small manufacturing business in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, he has nearly doubled the number of employees at Marlin Steel Wire Products. Over that same period, he doubled the firm’s sales. Then he doubled that. Then he doubled it again.

In large measure, Greenblatt’s success and Marlin Steel’s growth have been fueled by exporting the company’s wire baskets, wire forms and sheet metal products to customers abroad, with more than a quarter of the company’s revenue now stemming from international sales. Looking at it another way, seven of the Marlin Steel’s 29 workers’ jobs are directly tied to the company’s exports.

Greenblatt would like to see that number continue to grow.
From a business perspective, the foremost goal of U.S. trade policy should be to tear down barriers so companies like mine can start exporting to new markets … Free trade agreements have helped us accomplish this in the past and will help our business grow in the future.
No trade deal, Greenblatt adds, has been more critical to the company’s success than the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA.

Friday
Jul212017

Americans Say They Back Higher Gas Tax to Fix Crumbling Roads

Bloomberg

July 21, 2017

Congress hasn’t raised the federal gas tax since 1993 when Bill Clinton was president, but a narrow majority of Americans would support an increase to help fix crumbling roads and bridges in their own states.

Fifty-five percent of Americans in a Bloomberg National Poll say they would back an increase. The concept has bipartisan support, with majorities of Republicans (51 percent) and Democrats (67 percent) backing the idea.

Americans are tired of the condition of their roads and interstate highways and the 56,000 structurally deficient bridges nationwide, said Ray LaHood, a Republican and former U.S. transportation secretary under President Barack Obama who supports raising the gas tax.
“People are fed up,” LaHood said. “They’re ready for politicians to take action."

Read on...

Friday
Jul212017

COGA 29th Annual Engery Summit 

 

The Energy Summit proudly enters its 29th year with a focus on “Cleaner, Better, Further, Safer”. Over three days, our speakers will explore the industry’s commitment to a cleaner energy future, strategies employed to position companies for better success, technological advances that take us further to energy security, and continuing implementation of practices that keep our industry safer than ever before. Register HERE

Wednesday
Jul122017

Second International Bridge

Zocalo

July 12, 2017 

Acuna, Coah.- The mayor, Evaristo Lenin Pérez Rivera, reported that he will be accompanied by the mayor of Del Rio, Texas, Robert Garza, to the port of Mazatlán, to participate in the border crossing meeting, which is being convened by the Secretariat Of Public Relations, for the month of August. 
Acuña and Del Rio, Texas, will present the project for the authorization of the second international bridge, which will allow the South Texas and Coahuila state business competition to be depleted. 

He pointed out that they are being summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as international organizations and various agencies of the federal government, to present the projects for the authorization of border crossings, where the mayor, Assured that the project of the second international bridge for Acuña will have to be presented, which has already approved the location by both cities, which was presented in Mexico City. 

He said that it will not touch the current administration to see the start of construction of the second international bridge, but, it is responsible for working on large projects, which give the municipality the opportunity of greater competitiveness, noting that it will correspond to the next administration , Work in the negotiations, so he assured that he will go to the city of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, to present a solid project, so that he does not lose track and thus avoid being out of budgets and resources Which are intended for the preparation of all technical projects, Seeking to integrate it into the binational Mexico-United States agenda. 

He said that fortunately on our border there is an increase in border crossings and said, that this is one of the arguments that must be justified so that in the next 5 years, can start with the construction of the second international bridge.

 

Friday
Jul072017

Myth Busted: Tourism Industry Is Thriving in America’s Top Oil & Gas Producing States

Energy In Depth

July 7, 2017

The idea that fracking and tourism can’t coexist is something that has been perpetuated by anti-fracking activists eager to ban the practice in states like Maryland and Florida. But there’s a problem with the claim that fracking and tourism can’t co-exist: it’s false. In fact, America’s top oil and gas producing states also have thriving tourism industries as EID’s latest infographic shows.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the tourism industries of some of the top oil and gas producing states in the country: Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

Texas: U.S.’s No. 1 oil and natural gas producer

From 2008 – 2015:
  • Oil production increased 212 percent
  • Natural gas production increased 14 percent
  • Visitor spending increased 14 percent
Texas is the top oil and natural gas-producing state in America, producing 980 million barrels of crude oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas from April 2016 to March 2017. To put this into perspective, if Texas were a country it would be the world’s third largest producer of both natural gas (behind only the United States and Russia) and oil (behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq). That level of production equated to roughly $26 million per day ($9.5 billion annually) in state and local revenue for Texans in 2016, according to recent data from the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA).
Friday
Jun232017

Canada’s Trump Strategy: Go Around Him

The New York Times

June 23, 2017

As President Trump disrupts alliances across the map, nearly every level of government in Canada has taken on new duties in a quietly audacious campaign to cajole, contain and if necessary coerce the Americans.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s strategy for managing Mr. Trump is unlike anything tried by another ally. And he has largely succeeded where even experienced leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany have fallen short.

More than perhaps any other country, Canada relies on the United States, which accounts for 70 percent of its trade. Its sizable manufacturing industry is tightly integrated with American production, meaning even a slight hardening of the border or prolonged trade negotiations could put its economy at risk.

Laid in the first days after Mr. Trump’s election win, the plan even enlists Brian Mulroney, a former Conservative prime minister and political nemesis of Mr. Trudeau’s father, who had also been prime minister. Mr. Mulroney knows Mr. Trump and his commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, from social circuits in southern Florida, where all three keep vacation homes.

Read on...

 

Tuesday
Jun202017

Manufacturers Group Names Five Keys To Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

Associations Now

June 20, 2017

The U.S. is beginning to lose its infrastructure advantage, which could have wide-ranging consequences, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The group is offering a five-step plan to help reverse this decline.

The United States is underinvesting in infrastructure and, as a result, is in danger of losing its standing on the global economic stage, says a report published earlier this month by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

For average Americans, the effect is visible: passengers frustrated by delays caused by power outages and other failures in public transit, commuters ensnared in traffic jams because of structurally declining highway systems, and businesses uprooting their operations to invest in countries with expanding infrastructure.

In “The U.S. Infrastructure Advantage,” AEM offers five key steps that policymakers and infrastructure stakeholders can take to put the U.S. on the path to reclaiming its infrastructure advantage:
  • focus on networks and systems
  • maximize use of smart technology
  • ensure rural-urban connectivity
  • expedite project delivery
  • provide adequate and reliable resources

Since AEM’s members and stakeholders rely heavily on a network of roadways, highways, waterways, and ports to meet delivery needs, they are well acquainted with the current state of U.S. infrastructure. “They are the ones that have the real stories to tell about how this impacts their businesses and how this impacts their lives,” said Kate Wood, campaign director of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, which released the report.

Read on...