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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Transforming Infrastructure Investment for America's 21st Century Economy

April 19, 2017

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There is political consensus around the need to renew and rebuild America’s infrastructure, and President Trump has identified this as an Administration goal. But America lacks both the funding and the governance mechanisms to meet the challenge. This proposal offers a new framework to supplement the current convoluted maze of appropriated infrastructure funding, public-private partnerships, and other sources. The new approach provides the path to creating a market with sustained “deal flow” for large-scale private-sector funding of infrastructure. It is not predicated on a national infrastructure program but rather is driven from the bottom up relying on those public and private stakeholders at the local and regional level to “bring to market” fundable and politically viable projects. Developing a new partnership among federal, state and local governments and business creates the marketplace; this new partnership is referred to as "Partnership for Investing in America" (PIA).

The proposal as designed could generate slightly more than the $1 trillion the President has called for over the next ten years. The cost of the proposal over ten years is $75 billion to be expended in the early years so that the employment of 13.3 million direct jobs and 25 million jobs generated by this proposal can be realized. For every dollar of federal expenditure there will be over thirteen dollars of direct infrastructure investment; the multiplier and growth effect on the nation’s economy and the taxes generated would offset the reduction in dollars to the federal budget.

Even more important, the increase in economic activity and the improvements in the nation’s competitive advantage gained by the reinvigorating and building the supply chain regions, primarily rural, could regenerate the nation’s economy and alter the growth rate of the country.

The program suggestions described in this report have been generated by Intergovernmental Panel of NAPA and includes input from The Infrastructure Finance Education Working Group that participated in the Intergovernmental Panel.

Background Reading

  • See this report, which also addresses the "Partnership for Investing in America" (PIA) program.

Next Steps

  1. Governors should be encouraged to pass legislation in those states that do not have PPP laws and PFA legislation (New York and California could be used as templates for PFA’s), so that all states and locals can take advantage of these provisions- Public Interest Groups.
  2. States should be empowered by Congress to be able to establish multi-state regional project finance authorities that are authorized to receive federal incentive/planning grants and federal long term credit enhancement loans, matched with private capital, for regional investment grade rated projects. The pre-approval provision for a multi-state approval contained in the State Infrastructure Bank legislation if expanded and including the multi-state environmental streamlining of the FAST Act could be a point of departure for Congress.
  3. Federal departments and agencies would continue to make planning/seed grants and provide project assistance under their existing programs. They would also help with developing credit enhancements for federal support. They would also conduct the streamlining of regulations and permitting provisions spelled out in the FAST Act. This would be a require step in obtaining credit enhancement spelled out next.
  4. Treasury would be the credit enhancement/lending platform (Fund or Authority)-wholesaler and take the lead in creating “real deal flow” for infrastructure financing. Treasury would create a “loans to funders” for the PFA’s like the “loans to lender” format for housing. Existing credit enhancement Congressional authorization and Executive Order clarification will be needed.
  5. Congressional clarification and reauthorization of existing tax-credit bonds, private activity bonds and procurement provisions for federal assets.
  6. Given the number of responsibilities throughout the intergovernmental system and across the sectors public, private and even non-profits, there needs to be a point office within the Whitehouse to co-ordinate this effort.