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Trump to meet with business leaders on infrastructure

"The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding," the president said.

By David Shepardson

President Donald Trump plans to meet with a group of infrastructure business leaders at the White House on Wednesday, a person briefed on the meeting said.

During his presidential campaign, Trump said he would push for a $1 trillion infrastructure program to rebuild roads, bridges, airports and other public works projects.

The lunch meeting is set to include real estate, management consulting, private equity and other business leaders, along with at least one environmental group, a person briefed on the matter said.

Last month, Trump touted the plan in an address to Congress.

"The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding," Trump said.

"To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital — creating millions of new jobs."

The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded U.S. infrastructure at D+ and estimated the country needs to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told Fox News last month that the needs for infrastructure are so great the federal government cannot shoulder all the costs.

"Public private partnerships are a very important part of a new way of financing our roads and bridges that are in disrepair and our very dangerous," Chao said.

In January, Trump signed an executive order aimed at expediting environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially high priority projects "such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways."

 

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