Seventy percent of U.S. manufacturers describe American transportation infrastructure as "in fair or poor shape and needs a great deal or quite a bit of improvement."
In a report called Infrastructure: Essential to Manufacturing Competitiveness by Building America’s Future (BAF) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 70 percent of manufacturers also said maintenance efforts are not keeping pace, and roads continue to deteriorate.
Sixty-five percent of manufacturers said infrastructure in their regions will likely not meet the demands of the economy in the next 10 to 15 years.
"Our outdated roads, ports and inland waterways are in desperate need of repair and continue to add costs and complications as manufacturers move their products to market,” NAM President Jay Timmons said, summarizing the results of the survey of more than 400 manufacturers. "The good news is that Congress and the President have a chance right now to address the neglect of our infrastructure and ensure that manufacturing in the United States remains competitive."
Manufacturing produces 12 percent of America’s GDP, moving $1.8 trillion in goods and services. The U.S. invests about 1.7 percent of GDP in infrastructure.
The U.S. finished 14th on the infrastructure ranking in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013, and all the capacity of the country's eight largest sea ports combined is less than that of Shanghai's.
"Modernized ports and transportation systems enable American manufacturers and businesses to export their goods to countries around the world, which strengthens our economy here at home," said BAF Co-Chair and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. "I hope leaders in Washington seize the opportunity to make the significant investments our country really needs to stay competitive in the global economy, or we risk falling further behind our competitors."