President Obama Pushes Public-Private-Partnership Transportation Initiatives

Obama Pushes PPP President Obama says he would encourage partnerships between state and local governments, and public and private developers and investors…

President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, July 17, using the recently-closed I-495 bridge as a backdrop, to apply additional pressure on Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill.  Touting the administration’s four-year, $302 billion proposal introduced this spring, he also said that he would sign a presidential memorandum to establish the Build America Investment Initiative.  The program would offer expertise to state and local governments and investors looking to put together public-private partnerships to advance transportation projects.  According to the president, the program would be paid for, “in part by closing loopholes for companies that are shipping profits overseas and are avoiding paying their fair share of taxes.”

As part of the plan, the administration is launching a Build America Transportation Investment Center to be housed in Department of Transportation. It is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for state and local governments, public and private developers and investors seeking to utilize innovative finance strategies for transportation infrastructure projects.

The initiative includes a Build America Interagency Working Group to be co-chaired by the secretaries of Treasury and Transportation to do a focused review with the best and the brightest from the public and private sector to expand and increase private investment and collaboration in infrastructure.

Finally, an Infrastructure Investment Summit will be held Sept. 9, bringing together project developers and institutional investors with state and local officials and their federal counterparts. The summit, to be hosted by DOT, will focus on innovative financing approaches to infrastructure and highlight the opportunities for infrastructure investment.

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