Trump Talks Infrastructure, Importance of Programs For American Jobs

Trump Talks Infrastructure, Importance of Programs For American Jobs

He also didn't directly mention the hottest topic in Washington right now - the anticipated testimony of fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey that Trump demanded "loyalty" from him.

The president has said a key part of the initiative will be jettisoning and streamlining regulations to speed up projects.

The president said that when he traveled the nation during his campaign he noticed the "crumbling infrastructure". Trump has said the pact that almost 200 nations agreed to in 2015 was unfair to the United States. "And yet if we want to fix a road or fix a school or make sure bridges do not collapse, we don't ever seem to have the money".

He says that's why he's pushing a plan to pay for infrastructure improvements with $200 billion in tax breaks that he hopes will leverage $1 trillion worth of construction over time.

The address, the second televised event in Trump's "infrastructure week", following the announcement that he plans to put $1 trillion towards overhauling the country's roads and bridges - a frequently cited campaign pledge of the president.

Trump delivered his speech at the Rivertowne Marina with the Ohio River in the background.

"The Chamber and the business community look forward to engaging with the White House and with Congress to develop and implement a long-term plan that will bring our nation's infrastructure up to speed and spur economic growth", said Ed Mortimer, the Chamber's executive director for transportation infrastructure. "And he's not letting the distractions get in the way of that", she said.

Enhanced loan programs, with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, as an example of how federal funds can be used with state, local, and private dollars to fund projects.

But although the goal of upgrading crucial infrastructure has broad support, Democrats do not like Trump's plan for paying for it, arguing that his approach would result in taxpayer-funded corporate profits at the expense of investments in rural areas where money-making opportunities are scarce.

"They're just obstructionists - every single thing is obstruction", he said.

"I sent a clear message that America expects fair trade, a level playing field, and so many other things that we're demanding for our workers and for our companies", he said. He reiterated a promise he made to labor unions in Washington: "As long as I am president, America's labor leaders will always find an open door at the White House". "We've had no help, we will get no votes [from them]", Trump said before the media, adding that even if Republicans presented the greatest plan "in history" Democrats would still vote against it.

"More than half of the American steel produced in this country is produced within 250 miles of where we are right now and they need an inland water system they can depend on to ship their goods", Trump said.

Two such undertakings mentioned Tuesday - the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines - have faced opposition from Democrats over environmental concerns.