With the six-month surface transportation extension now passed and signed by the President, manufacturers are eager for Congress to complete its long overdue work and get a robust, multi-year surface transportation authorization done in the early months of 2012. 

Twenty CEOs of large manufacturing and service companies echoed this message in a recent letter to the House and Senate leadership. The letter represents an important and relevant perspective from a mix of companies that support the overall manufacturing economy. 

Recognizing that there is “no singular solution to remedy the nation’s economic challenges” and the “need to rein in and prioritize spending,” these CEOs succinctly highlighted why transportation must be part of the pro-growth agenda. 

For these companies, it’s not just about jobs and keeping the transportation system safe and efficient which are critically important to the country.  The United States is in a situation today where our global competitors are outpacing us, building transportation networks for the 21st century while we continue to hang our hat on what was accomplished in the 1950s and 60s.

Of note and recently highlighted in a report called Falling Apart and Falling Behind by the Building America’s Future Educational Fund, U.S infrastructure has dropped from number one in the world in 2005 to number 15 today according data published by the World Economic Forum. 

For these CEOs, that’s not acceptable and the NAM couldn’t agree agree more.

Robyn Boerstling, is director of transportation and infrastructure policy, National Association of Manufacturers.