To beat China and modernise America’s crumbling transport network, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a “once-in-a-generation” $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
The first phase of Biden’s “Build Back Better” programme, which he set out in a speech in Pittsburgh, details massive investment spread over eight years.
Putting infrastructure at the centerpiece of the president’s economic agenda, it calls for the injection of $620 billion into transport, including upgrading 20,000 miles of roads, repairing thousands of bridges and doubling funding for public transport.
“Today I’m proposing a plan for the nation that rewards work, not just rewards wealth. It builds a fair economy that gives everybody a chance to succeed. It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world,” Biden said.
“It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago.”
The cost would be partly covered by raising corporate tax from 21% to 28%.
The new spending offensive comes soon after the United States passed a nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus plan.
And Biden’s speech fired the starting gun on what is expected to be a bitter battle in Congress, where the Democrats hold only a narrow majority and will face strong opposition from Republicans.
The president described the blueprint as the “largest American jobs investment since World War II,” which would cement the country’s position at the top of the global economy.
“It will create millions of jobs, good-paying jobs. It will grow the economy, make us more competitive around the world, promote our national security interests and put us in a position to win the global competition with China in the upcoming years,” he said.