The next step
Finally, some information. It isn’t a huge amount of information and there remains plenty of discussion ahead, but it is certainly progress.
As many of you will be aware, on Monday, the White House issued an outline plan, which includes details of the legislative make-up of what will be the eventual backbone of federal infrastructure policy.
As expected, $200bn in federal funds will be made available to spur at least $1.5trn in infrastructure investments with partners at the state, local, tribal, and private level.
At first glance, the nod to P3s is clear and there appears to be several components within the proposals that will facilitate growth for the market.
After much to-ing and fro-ing since his inauguration, this should come as welcome news to the industry that has already seen the administration perform so many U-turns on private investment that it can almost be excused for forgetting what direction it was heading in the first place.
Reaction so far has been broadly positive from the industry, at least. This is unsurprising given that this is the closest that this federal government has come so far to actually putting its neck on the line with real infrastructure policy.
But some concern remains. After all, if we have learned anything from this president and his government, it is that nothing is ever really set in stone. There have been too many examples to ignore, of statements that simply aren’t true and promises that haven’t been kept.
So, while it is tempting to get excited about the potential of these plans, until a bill sees the light of day in Congress and is eventually signed into law, it is not unreasonable to anticipate changes at any given opportunity.
Many in the industry could probably be forgiven for keeping one eye on their Twitter feeds in the middle of the night, in case Mr Trump has a sudden change of heart on P3s again and wants to share it with the world.
But in truth, this is where the politicians from both parties will now earn their money as the real work begins. This is the first step in the feds providing its proposals for Congressional discussion, so it is time to get to work in making sure these encouraging plans become reality.
There are plenty of people that have worked tirelessly to promote the development of infrastructure from both the public and private sectors. It is now time for that work to be put into practice and for the US public to receive the right support for the infrastructure network it needs and deserves.