Despite strongly worded criticism of NAFTA from US president Donald Trump, an internal document listing the White House’s top infrastructure priorities suggests some people close to the president do in fact consider trade with their northern neighbours to be an important issue.
President Trump’s transition team has reportedly compiled a list of 50 potential transportation infrastructure projects across the country that could be targeted in his promised infrastructure proposal, including two ongoing cross-border improvement projects with Canada.
Making the list is the creation of new Gordie Howe International Bridge at the Windsor-Detroit trade gateway (#25) and engineering upgrades and plaza enhancements to the Peace Bridge at Buffalo-Fort Erie (#27).
The document – titled Emergency and National Security Projects and bearing the name of then president-elect Donald Trump – points out the Gordie Howe International Bridge would create 13,000 direct job and10,000 indirect job and cost $4.5 billion (although Canada has already pledged it would pay the full upfront costs of the bridge).
“We are encouraged the Trump transition team appears to recognize the importance of this vital piece of infrastructure to improve trade efficiency, provide transportation predictability and bolster security across the world’s busiest commercial gateway,” says CTA president David Bradley. “Time will tell.”
It remains unclear whether the 52-page document is a preliminary draft or a final proposal. The document, which can be accessed here, includes many projects which were also part of a National Governors Association (NGA) spreadsheet submitted in December to the Trump transition team of “shovel-ready” projects.
The complete priority list document can be viewed here.