In a listening session this week meant to tackle the issue of infrastructure upgrades, President Trump seemed to frown upon America’s lack of “fast trains.”
Trump didn’t express outright support for building a high-speed rail network, per se. But he used it to illustrate a larger point about America’s infrastructure not being up to snuff compared to other countries.
“You go to China, you go to Japan, they have fast trains all over the place,” he said.
Trump then addressed the airline executives in attendance, including CEOs from Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue.
“I don’t want to compete with your business, but we don’t have one fast train,” he said.
Trump complained that overall America has an obsolete “plane system, obsolete airports, obsolete trains, we have bad roads.”
The Trump administration has vowed to make vast infrastructure improvements and told the airline executives that they could expect a rollback in regulations, lower taxes and a modernized traffic control system.
The issue of high-speed rail continues to be a divisive issue and split along party lines. While Democrats, including former President Obama, have typically expressed support for funding high-speed rail networks, Republicans have often remained staunchly opposed.
California is one of the few states with a high-speed rail project in the works. The state currently has plans to build a $68 billion line that will run from San Francisco to Los Angeles at speeds reaching 200 mph. The line is expected to start operating by 2029, although it continues to face opposition. Earlier this week, a group of Republicans asked the Trump administration to stop new grant money for the project.
When Jerry Brown, the state’s governor, caught wind of Trump’s comment, he delivered an optimistic message to Trump via Twitter, saying “California’s ready.”