On 17 July, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum to launch the Build America Investment Initiative. The announcement was made during the US President’s visit to the Port of Wilmington in Delaware. The government-wide programme aims to increase investment in infrastructure and boost economic growth through greater collaboration between the private sector and state and local governments. Through public-private partnerships, private capital will be used to complement government funding in infrastructure. The three main components of the initiative are the Build America Transportation Investment Center, Build America Interagency Working Group and the Infrastructure Investment Summit.
- Build America Transportation Investment Center: this will be set up in the Department of Transportation, where it will act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for state and local governments and well public and private investors looking to utilise financing strategies for infrastructure projects within the transportation sector.
- Build America Interagency Working Group: a federal inter-agency working group, including representatives from the public and private sector, will conduct a review into collaboration in the infrastructure sector beyond the transport industry. It will address the barriers facing private investment and partnerships in ports, harbours, municipal water, the electrical grid, etc.
- Infrastructure Investment Summit: this will bring together project developers, institutional investors, state and local officials and their Federal counterparts to discuss innovative financing approaches to infrastructure and highlight investment opportunities. It will be hosted by the Treasury on 9 September 2014.
The Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) has welcomed the announcement: “The expertise of the private sector complements the public sector’s capacity to design, finance, build and deliver public infrastructure projects quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, providing much needed congestion relief to our nation’s transportation arteries. AIAI commends the efforts of President Obama and this pro-P3 initiative as they recognise the importance of private sector involvement in solving the National infrastructure crisis.”
Adapted from press releases by Louise Fordham
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