Biden Infrastructure Proposal To Boost Manufacturing

 - April 1, 2021, 10:13 AM

The White House’s sweeping $2 trillion American Jobs Plan proposal, unveiled Wednesday, would pump $25 billion more into airports and encompasses numerous other general provisions aimed at boosting infrastructure, manufacturing, supply chain, and green initiatives such as carbon capture and biofuel.

Announcing his massive infrastructure proposal, President Joe Biden said, “It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world. It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the Interstate Highway System and the Space Race decades ago.”

For airports specifically, the proposal would seek another $25 billion in funding, including for Airport Improvement Program projects, and would seek a new program to support terminal renovations and multimodal connections. That funding comes in addition to the $20 billion already allocated to airports over the past year in the various Covid-19 relief bills. Of that, $245 million was dedicated to general aviation and non-primary commercial service airports.

Kevin Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International-North America, said during Wednesday’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit that the additional monies will help airports better prepare terminals for growing numbers of travelers and accommodate the latest models of aircraft.

The proposal also has a more general infrastructure-related measure focusing on “on-time and on-budget” best practices that would accompany support for training, technical assistance, and procurement.

Additionally, the proposal calls for building the manufacturing base and research and development. A fact sheet about the proposal specifies that the White House “is calling on Congress to make smart investments in research and development, manufacturing and regional economic development, and in workforce development to give our workers and companies the tools and training they need to compete on the global stage.”

Noting that the U.S. is “one of the few major economies whose public investments in research and development have declined as a percent of GDP in the past 25 years,” the proposal seeks $180 billion in various investments in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to biotechnology to computing.

This includes $35 billion in climate protection technologies and research. The proposal specifically seeks $15 billion for climate research and development demonstration projects surrounding utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles.

The proposal also would set aside $52 billion to increase manufacturer access to capital and separately support small business incubators and supply chain, among other provisions. Another series of measures is designed to boost workforce development.

The plan would set the corporate tax rate at 28 percent and provide tax disincentives for “offshoring” businesses and the use of international tax havens.