manufacturers believe the U.S. infrastructure is in fair or
poor shape, with roads in particular getting worse.
Respondents to a
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) survey also worry
that the U.S. infrastructure is not positioned to respond to
the competitive demands of a growing economy.
"This survey clearly
demonstrates that our nations approach to investing in
infrastructure is not improving at a pace to keep up with the
growing needs of manufacturers and that the United States risks
falling behind," NAM president and chief executive officer Jay
Timmons said. "Our outdated roads, ports and inland waterways
are in desperate need of repair and continue to add costs and
complications as manufacturers move their products to
manufacturers are "counting on Congress" to fulfill its duty to
facilitate U.S. commerce by passing legislation that helps fund
ports, inland waterways and other key water resource
The American Waterways
Operators (AWO), an Arlington, Va.-based association
representing vessel operators on the Great Lakes and river
systems, applauded Congress Sept. 13 on progressing with the
"long overdue" Water Resources Development Act.
The AWO is seeking an
industry-supported increase of a user fee for the Inland
Waterways Trust Fund as a way to reinvest in ports and inland
lock and dam systems. Fifty-seven percent of the locks and dams
on the nations inland waterways system have exceeded
their economic design life expectancy, AWO claimed, and funding
for needed maintenance and modernization has been flat or
"Modernized ports and
transportation systems enable American manufacturers and
businesses to export their goods," Ed Rendell, co-chair of
Building Americas Future, said.