Manufacturers Sweat White House's Infrastructure Pause

However, the Trump administration's initial budget outline included little new detail about an infrastructure spending plan.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

President Donald Trump repeatedly pledged to invest in the nation's highways, bridges, airports and harbors during his bid for president and following his election.

But his administration's initial budget outline included little new detail about an infrastructure spending plan — and The Wall Street Journal reported that manufacturers hoping to benefit from a building boom are growing concerned.

Specific plans for the nation's infrastructure were never released in detail during the campaign, but a paper that surfaced following the election — authored by a Trump economic advisor — floated a massive tax credit that aimed to generate $1 trillion in private infrastructure investment.

Analysts questioned the plan's revenue calculations — and whether private interests would be willing to invest in projects like toll roads — while congressional Republicans were hesitant to embrace such a massive government spending effort.

(AP Photo)(AP Photo)

Trump transition officials, however, reportedly asked states to submit high-priority projects for consideration in an infrastructure plan. More than 400 projects were ultimately filed through the National Governors Association.

But the White House conceded last week that controversial health care and tax provisions are the administration's initial priorities.

A massive infrastructure bill, the Journal noted, could benefit heavy equipment manufacturers whose sales were affected by struggling agriculture, construction and mining markets.

The paper said that those companies, however, are increasingly worried that Trump administration officials won't muster the additional political capital needed to move the bill through a skeptical Congress.

“It’s one of the campaign staples on both sides, and therefore you would expect that there’s a fair amount of agreement on what should and could and needs to be done,” Glen Calder, the co-owner of a South Carolina equipment maker, told the Journal.

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