Last year, the economy in the United States was thriving, with new and current projects that would improve the country’s infrastructure. Now the global pandemic has manufacturers shutting lines and millions of Americans collecting unemployment instead of going to work. Shipping markets, including project cargo, have remained volatile for the entire year thus far.
As many economies try to restart after lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. and other countries are planning recovery packages to help stimulate their economies. The packages include financial assistance for individuals and industries as well as infrastructure spending and regulatory relief. In an effort to getting the economy restored, the project cargo industry would directly benefit.
President Trump has talked about infrastructure improvements since his candidacy and has pushed for initiatives, including a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Currently, discussions in Washington have mentioned anywhere from $300 billion-$1 trillion going towards infrastructure improvements as part of the next stimulus package. The infrastructure plan would help towards improvements to roads, bridges, tunnels, and 5G wireless.
The volume of new installations and completion of current projects will depend largely on how quickly the U.S. increases its economic activity, and how fast companies can respond. Suppliers also need to be able to meet demand as it rises. There are several organizations that are ready as soon as the U.S. provides the financial portion. For example, the Army Corps of Engineers has unfunded projects that are all critical to the country’s future. These projects would certainly create jobs immediately and provide future value for the United States. And these projects are ready to go, they are just waiting for the funding, creating immediate results in job creation.
The inclusion of improving infrastructure in the stimulus package will create jobs and the need for project cargo, the transportation of large, heavy equipment. States will be able to spend their relief funds on projects that meet their needs. Investment in infrastructure would both save and create jobs and support productive areas of economic recovery. Starting projects will benefit many sectors of the economy—transportation, manufacturing businesses and both professional and manufacturing and labor positions.
Texas Central High-Speed Rail Project
One such project is the Texas Central High-Speed Rail Project, which would connect Dallas and Houston, would be the first of its kind in this country. The project is estimated to create 37,500 jobs across the country, not only on construction sites but in offices. However, since the pandemic, Texas Central has had to lay off employees.
Architects, engineers, planners, manufacturers, construction workers, and transportation would all be needed to create this project. Steel from Indiana and Colorado would need to be transported to Texas. The project is expected to cost upwards of $19 billion, and without a commitment of funding soon, it may have to close.
What is Needed Now?
A substantial infrastructure package would create millions of new jobs and save millions of jobs that are at risk. But in order for this to happen, the initial CARES Act Funding would have to be allocated from small businesses to infrastructure projects. In addition, procurement rules would need to be addressed so that funding can move into projects immediately to save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. Congress would need to encourage quick decision-making to create a more stable recovery.
The next stimulus package seems to be focusing more on helping get Americans back to work. Investing in infrastructure will lead to thousands of new jobs which will in turn reduce the unemployment percentage. Construction and materials companies will bid for government contracts, and project cargo will benefit.
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