Steel Industry Disappointed in Lack of Meaningful Infrastructure Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 21, 2009 – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today expressed its disappointment that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 does not provide adequate funding for infrastructure programs. The bill, unveiled yesterday, proposes a total of $825 billion in investments, with only $90 billion going towards modernizing roads, bridges, transit and waterways.

“We are pleased that Congress and the new Administration are focused on immediately providing Americans with a bill that will provide the economic revitalization that is necessary for our nation. However, the fact that the transportation infrastructure portion of this bill only accounts for 11 percent of the overall funding is a concern of not only the steel industry, but manufacturers in general,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “Over the past few weeks, economists across the board have noted that the best way to create jobs and return our economy to vitality is to spend federal money on roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, which would help to put people both in manufacturing and construction directly back to work. Not recognizing the importance of this is a grave oversight.  We would like to see the portion of the stimulus bill designated for public works projects to be significantly expanded.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over 70 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115