ButtigiegU.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg met with more than two dozen equipment manufacturing executives and AEM staff to discuss how President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will help rebuild roads and bridges, upgrade ports and airports, and deliver clean drinking water, a renewed grid, and high-speed broadband to Americans across the country.  

During his opening remarks, Secretary Buttigieg spoke about the urgent need to make a transformational investment in our nation’s infrastructure to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create tens of thousands of new jobs. “So, that is why we have sense of urgency, we cannot just coast along on investments made decades ago," the Secretary said. "That is what the American Jobs Plan is about, that is why the President is putting forward the single biggest investment in jobs since the end of the Second World War. I want to emphasize that based on the economic analysis that we have seen, most jobs that will be created by the American Jobs Plan are jobs that do not require a college degree. The multiplier effect of these good-paying jobs is really important as they are the lifeblood of many manufacturing communities, including where I come from.” 

“There is no greater economic engine in the world than the hard work and ingenuity of the American people,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “But to continue to grow and create more family-sustaining jobs, equipment manufacturers need a modern infrastructure that is responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century global economy. As the Rebuild With Purpose report by the Brookings Institution makes clear, equipment manufacturers are ready for a grand re-imagining of America’s infrastructure. We appreciate Secretary Buttigieg’s steadfast focus on ensuring that America has the best infrastructure in the world and his recognition that an investment infrastructure is the best way to stimulate the economy, put Americans back to work, and support equipment manufacturers.” 

During the meeting, AEM CE Sector Board Chair Rod Schrader highlighted the industry’s efforts to reduce emissions through the development of alternative power generation technologies for construction equipment and expressed the industry’s desire to work with the Biden administration to ensure that its 2030 strategy takes into consideration market conditions, supply and demand, and other considerations.  

The Secretary also highlighted how equipment manufacturers will make a generational impact when it comes to infrastructure modernization. “It is only when something goes wrong that our infrastructure makes headlines,” said the Secretary. “And yet, Americans are benefiting from infrastructure every day when they are driving on roads and highways, or just going about their everyday lives. That is one of the reasons why we think it is so important to lay the foundation for the right kind of infrastructure Americans need to thrive today and in the future. Equipment manufacturers will create that infrastructure. You will literally build back better. We cannot build back better without the building part. And that is where equipment manufacturers come in.” 

Secretary Buttigieg concluded the meeting by thanking equipment manufacturers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he expressed his desire to stay engaged with the industry and the 2.8 million men and women who make the equipment that builds, powers, and feeds America. 

AEM looks forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg to help advance our shared policy priorities and to ensure we bring about an affirmative vision for 21st century American infrastructure.

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