Infrastructure is a word we’ve been hearing a lot more of in recent months. The topic was a huge focus of the 2016 presidential campaign and now discussions are taking place in Congress over what has been viewed as a long overdue issue. Drawing on that momentum and continuing to push for infrastructure improvements has been the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Milwaukee.

The association made its support of a major federal infrastructure bill known at a press conference held during its ConExpo-Con/Agg convention in Las Vegas in March. That show, incidentally, saw an increase in attendance from the previous rendition of the show in 2014 by an estimated 10 percent, with buyer attendance up by 16 percent.

It was there that AEM Chair Michael Haberman said he wanted to use the convention as a platform to “urge President Trump and Congress to follow through on their campaign promises and to pass a major infrastructure bill.”

In June, AEM took its efforts even further when it released its “U.S. Infrastructure Advantage” report. The report notes the U.S. is ranked 11th in the world in infrastructure competitiveness and was developed to make the case “for a U.S. infrastructure system that supports the safe and efficient movement of people and goods; provides connectivity between and within rural and urban America; and fosters strong economic growth and robust job creation,” a press release announcing the report states.

The report also provides key steps that policymakers and infrastructure stakeholders can use to ensure that policy proposals help reclaim the “U.S. infrastructure advantage.”

AEM President Dennis Slater goes into further detail in a podcast interview with Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine, where he emphasized, “Infrastructure is essential to our competitiveness worldwide.”

He added, “Other countries are taking care of their infrastructure, and the longer we wait for ours, the less competitive we get.”

Slater says the association is encouraged that President Trump and Congress finally are talking about infrastructure, noting conversation is taking place when a couple of years ago there was no conversation. He says he wants the AEM report to not only raise the profile of the infrastructure concerns but also to offer solutions.

You can hear more with Slater in a podcast interview available on our website at