Want a Sneak Peak at Trump’s Draft Infrastructure Plan? - Global Trade Magazine
  January 25th, 2018 | Written by

Want a Sneak Peak at Trump’s Draft Infrastructure Plan?

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  • Trump’s infrastructure program is divided into four categories.
  • There is no dollar amount for federal appropriations mentioned in the Trump infrastructure document.
  • Federal grants will make up no more than 20 percent of funding for core infrastructure projects.

Axios published a leaked document Tuesday identified as a draft White House infrastructure plan. The White House implicitly authenticated the document when a spokesman reacted, “We are not going to comment on the contents of a leaked document…” The full document can be viewed here.

The program is divided into four categories—core infrastructure, transformative projects, rural infrastructure, and federal credit programs—with the first comprising 50 percent of the total funding. There is no dollar amount for federal appropriations mentioned in the document.

The federal government will be taking a back seat in Trump’s vision of core infrastructure, at least if this version is the one that is proposed. In that category—which includes surface transportation, airports, passenger rail, maritime and inland waterway ports, flood control, water supply, hydropower, water resources, drinking water facilities, storm water facilities, and Brownfield and Superfund sites—federal grants will make up no more than 20 percent of the total project costs. Also, the document says that “federal incentive funds will be conditioned on achieving milestones within an identified timeframe,” which suggests that federal funding will be awarded only after the fact, and not to jump start projects. The plan says the program “encourages state, local, and private investment in core infrastructure.” The most important criterion for securing these federal grants will be “how applicant will secure and commit new, non-federal revenue to create sustainable, long-term funding.”

The transformative projects program will make federal funding and technical assistance available “for innovative and transformative infrastructure projects” which would be difficult to finance through the private sector “due to the uniqueness of the program.” This category covers transportation, clean water, drinking water, energy, commercial space, and telecommunications. Funding may be directed toward demonstration projects, project planning, and capital construction. Federal funding may be used for up to 80 percent of capital construction eligible costs and applicants must agree to share in the project value with the federal government.

The rural infrastructure program is “designed to encourage investment to enable rural economies, facilitate freight movement, improve access to reliable and affordable transportation, etc. States are incentivized to partner with local and private investment for completion and operation of projects under this program.” The document sets out a formula for how 80 percent of funds made available for states would be provided to each state. Rural communities are defined as those with a population of no more than 50,000.

The document also sets forth several new federal credit programs which would use appropriated dollars to increase the capacity of existing federal lending programs.

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