AEM leaders pressed elected officials to help America reclaim its infrastructure advantage during a Bloomberg Government event in Washington last week.

Topcon Positioning Systems President Ray O’Connor and AEM President Dennis Slater participated in a morning discussion hosted by Bloomberg about the future of infrastructure and innovation. The event came on the heels of AEM’s release of the U.S. Infrastructure Advantage,™ report outlining five key steps that lawmakers can take to shore up America’s infrastructure competitiveness.

“These members of Congress here today, they know what needs to be done. My question is how we’re going to get it done,” O’Connor told the crowd at Bloomberg’s newsroom offices, referring to an earlier panel featuring members of Congress who are leaders on infrastructure policy.

“If we can’t be competitive on a global basis,” he added, “you have no chance of keeping manufacturing jobs if you don’t make it easy to move goods around the country at a low cost and continue to invest in our infrastructure.”

Other panelists featured during the event included former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and the general manager of the Washington, D.C.-area metro system. Officials from Verizon and QualComm also spoke to the challenges they face in expanding wireless broadband access.

“By focusing on our networks and systems, maximizing the use of technology, ensuring a rural-urban connection, expediting project delivery, and ensuring that we have adequate and reliable resources, we can craft a long-term national plan for what’s next for U.S. infrastructure,” AEM President Dennis Slater said in separate remarks.