Building A Better Backbone
Authored by Leeco Steel
When you think about what is essential to our society, at least one of the following likely comes to mind: electricity, buildings, roads, water, schools and hospitals.
Each of these – and countless other institutions – are part of our infrastructure. Our infrastructure consists of the buildings we visit, the homes we live in, the roads we travel and the water we drink. Due to the importance of infrastructure, it is considered the backbone of our society, and we must ensure it is maintained and modernized to best support our citizens and overall economy.
Unfortunately, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ most recent infrastructure report card gave the U.S. a C- ranking, which indicates that key parts of our infrastructure are showing signs of deterioration and require attention and funding to fix. This is not a new issue; our infrastructure has been underfunded for years as a result of disagreements over who should finance repairs and new projects and how.
Several recent attempts at a wide-reaching federal infrastructure support plan – such as the 2009 Recovery & Reinvestment Act and President Trump’s 2018 $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan – either did not go far enough or never got off the ground. Even President Biden’s infrastructure plan faces partisan push-back.
But the fact remains that a C- ranking is unacceptable for something that is the backbone of our society and daily lives. We all rely on and use roads, buildings, bridges, electricity and drinking water each and every day.
If our infrastructure breaks or fails, we are at risk for disruptions to essential services, economic activity and national security. We are even at personal risk for injury or death from bridge collapses, crumbling roads and unsafe drinking water.
Not only is infrastructure important to our society, but it is also important to the steel industry in which we at Leeco Steel, our industry peers and our customers are all so deeply ingrained. In fact, according to the American Institute of Steel Construction, structural steel makes up about 47% of U.S. construction equipment, indicating steel’s vital role within our infrastructure.
As a steel plate supplier to various sectors that comprise our infrastructure – including energy and bridge and building construction – we understand the importance of the impact that investing in and building our infrastructure will have on all stakeholders within the steel industry.
Additionally, infrastructure investment would benefit the entire U.S. economy, not just the steel industry. A Business Roundtable study found that every $1 spent on infrastructure investment adds $3 to GDP growth, and an infrastructure investment of just 1% in GDP would create $320 billion in economic output and add 1.5 million jobs in the first year alone.
We cannot continue accepting the status quo of our infrastructure, and should be working to not only maintain, but to build a better, backbone infrastructure. Infrastructure investment would benefit every single person in the U.S. while strengthening our economy and national safety.
Leeco is proud to support MSCI’s “Build Now” movement, and we urge Congress to pass an infrastructure spending bill to ensure we can make much-needed improvements to our infrastructure and build a strong foundation for this vital backbone of our society.