The Importance of Infrastructure: Investing in the United States’ Economy

The Task Force and the BOLD Act

Caterpillar Group President Rob Charter and Martin Marietta CEO Ward Nye were asked by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) to co-chair a Task Force to develop innovative solutions to increase our nation’s commitment and investment in its infrastructure. The Task Force is made up of a diverse cross-section of the ARTBA membership, which included many of our customers. After numerous meetings, the Task Force produced a comprehensive proposal –The BOLD Act – that was eventually adopted by the ARTBA Board of Directors. The ATRBA staff has been making the rounds in Washington, D.C., to explain the proposal and have been met with positive reviews.

The BOLD Act would eliminate taxes on heavy truck/tractor and tires sales, while initiating a Highway Transportation Services Tax, which is modeled on the way air cargo is currently taxed. This would raise new and significant funding for our nation’s infrastructure and provide direct federal investment in the National Highway Freight Network. Additionally, the proposal calls for a federal excise tax on the sale of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in the manufacturing of electric vehicles. The proposal would ensure that the HTF is structurally sound, funding is user-based, and would result in a more than 30 percent increase in federal highway and public transportation investment.

“We can’t build and maintain the infrastructure of the future using funding models that are decades old. ARTBA has pulled together a diverse team of industry leaders who all have the same goal – to ensure that the U.S. infrastructure can meet the needs of a 21st century economy. The proposal is well thought out, fair, and – most importantly – sustainable,” said Rob Charter. “I’m proud of the work the Tast Force has done, and we’ll work together along with other like-minded groups, like the Associate of Equipment Manufacturers, to ensure the team’s ideas are part of the ongoing debate.”

Importantly, much of the additional revenue raised by the proposal would be dedicated to a national freight network to ensure that goods and freight can move more efficiently and effectively throughout the country. This will allow Caterpillar to better and more efficiently serve our customers, and reduce travel times and costs. Ultimately though, Congress will need to review and take action on the recommendations of the BOLD Act.

There is a long way to go over the debate on improving our nation’s infrastructure at the federal level. There are many different proposals that will undergo review, and no doubt revision. But Caterpillar is committed to improving our nation’s transportation system and will be working in the coming months to ensure that we have an infrastructure that can meet the needs of a 21st century economy. 

Nothing short of our global competitiveness is at stake.  

The Importance of Infrastructure

Check out updates on transportation initiatives happening around the world.

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Caterpillar’s Transportation and Infrastructure Policy Position

Caterpillar supports investment in transportation infrastructure as a key enabler of sustainable development, economic growth, competitiveness and long-term job creation.

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