This article has been updated with additional perspective.
A major infrastructure package quickly emerged as an area of possible bipartisan consensus following Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
“Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made the case this election season as to why we must make a substantial effort to not only repair our existing infrastructure, but also to develop a long-term vision for U.S. infrastructure that accommodates economic growth and rapidly emerging technologies,” AEM President Dennis Slater said in a statement following the election. “We stand ready to work with President-elect Trump to help advance this critically important policy priority.”
Trump had made the need to invest in infrastructure a key part of his pitch to voters, and had called for investing as much as $1 trillion in rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. The president-elect again voiced those themes in his victory speech Tuesday night.
“We will rebuild our infrastructure, which will become second to none,” he said. “And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."
Signs of possible bipartisan agreement emerged quickly following the election.
“As President-elect Trump indicated last night, investing in infrastructure is an important priority of his,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement regarding the election. “We can work together to quickly pass a robust infrastructure jobs bill.”
Other industry priorities were more uncertain following the election. Trump’s pointed rhetoric regarding global trade agreements cast serious doubt on Congress’ ability to adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), either during the lame-duck Congress or in 2017.
“Our new president and leaders in Congress must also work together to address the strong anti-trade and foreign investment positions taken by candidates on both the right and the left this election season,” Slater said. “We cannot undermine U.S. manufacturers’ global competitiveness for the sake of politically expedient soundbites.”
AEM will continue to analyze the ramifications of the 2016 elections in the coming days and weeks, and provide updated coverage of President-elect Trump’s transition before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
Find AEM President Dennis Slater’s full statement on the election results below:
"America’s voters have spoken, and on behalf of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and our more than 900 members, I congratulate President-elect Trump on winning the presidency after a long and hard-fought campaign this year.
"The 2016 campaign made clear that Americans are tired of gridlock government and fatigued after an unrelentingly negative election. Our elected officials now need to soothe our political discourse by coming together to advance sound public policy that will drive job creation and economic growth.
"The good news is that this election campaign highlighted the many issues on which Americans are united, along with manufacturers. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made the case this election season as to why we must make a substantial effort to not only repair our existing infrastructure, but also to develop a long-term vision for U.S. infrastructure that accommodates economic growth and rapidly emerging technologies. We stand ready to work with President-elect Trump to help advance this critically important policy priority.
"A number of our elected officials have also spoken about infrastructure investment in the context of comprehensive tax reform. AEM members support commonsense and pro-growth tax reform that helps make U.S. manufacturing more competitive vis-à-vis our global trading partners, while also preserving important manufacturing investments and protecting U.S. jobs.
"Our new president and leaders in Congress must also work together to address the strong anti-trade and foreign investment positions taken by candidates on both the right and the left this election season. We cannot undermine U.S. manufacturers’ global competitiveness for the sake of politically expedient soundbites.
"Our elected leaders must also address falling farm incomes, move swiftly to advance a new Farm Bill and protect important safeguards for agricultural producers, such as the crop insurance program and the Renewable Fuel Standard.
"To advance these important priorities, our new president and the 115th Congress must avoid the same partisan brinksmanship that has exacerbated political discord in Washington. A divided government cannot continue to be an excuse for inaction or executive overreach.
"That is why the men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry stand ready to work with President-elect Trump, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell to advance our shared priorities and promote manufacturing growth in America."