A few metal industry organizations, including the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), are urging Congress to include an infrastructure package in its next economic stimulus package so that US companies have clear paths to recovery.
AISI advocated for robust, long-term infrastructure investments that would support highway and bridge transportation. The proposed infrastructure package would also support the national steel supply chain throughout most congressional districts, and guarantee employment.
Research conducted by John Dunham & Associates on behalf of AISI in 2017 demonstrated the US iron and steel industry accounted for more than $520bn in economic output and nearly 2mn jobs. Industry workers earned over $130bn in wages and benefits, while the industry generated $56bn in federal, state and local taxes.
The AISI letter—also supported by the American Institute of Steel Construction, Steel Manufacturers Association, Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports, and Specialty Steel Industry of North America—quoted Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory figures in stating that 38pc of America’s 616,000 bridges need replacement or rehabilitation.
The Association of General Contractors of America (AGC) also showed that, in February, constructions spending increased by 6pc over the same month in 2019, with gains in both residential and non-residential segments.
But a late March survey from AGC found 39pc of more than 1,600 respondents had been directed to stop work on one or more projects last month, with 45pc reporting project delays or disruptions to a significant number of ongoing projects. Most cancellations related to economic concerns from project owners.
AGC also called on Congress to increase federal funding, otherwise supply chain disruptions in commercial construction—including at quarries, manufactures, professional and transportations services, would result in thousands of jobs lost.