One airport in a quarter of a century – Bloomberg estimated how much the US infrastructure lags behind competitors

When the US gets involved in a confrontation with China, it is important to understand that on some issues, the Americans will have to desperately catch up with the communist giant.

One airport in a quarter of a century - Bloomberg estimated how much the US infrastructure lags behind competitors

Recently, a new program of state support for the economy was approved in the USA. As conceived by the Joe Biden administration, the mechanism should not only provide the Americans impoverished by the pandemic with “helicopter” money, but also contribute to America’s ability to compete with China.

“If we don’t move, they will eat our dinner”, – the head of the White House lamented to lawmakers.

“We just have to take a step forward”.

Washington pays special attention to the development of the US infrastructure. The authorities promised to deal with this really problematic issue from the first days of Donald Trump’s rule, but there is no need to talk about significant results yet, writes Bloomberg. The situation looks especially deplorable in comparison with the PRC, which the American litas proclaimed the main enemy of America.

So, in February, the government of Xi Jinping developed a 15-year plan for the development of the country’s transport network. It is expected that the republic’s railway network will expand from 146.3 thousand kilometers in 2020 to 200 thousand by 2035. This is enough to round the equator more than 5 times. The plan also calls for the construction of 162 new civilian airports.

In the United States, things are far from being so rosy. The last major airport, Denver International Airport, was built here in the mid-90s of the last century. On the railroad issue, the authorities were able to thwart even a bipartisan initiative to build the Gateway Tunnel on the busiest rail line in the United States between New York and New Jersey.

As you know, China’s infrastructure projects have not contained its borders for a long time. The World Bank estimates that since the One Belt, One Road concept was presented in 2013, Beijing has built or is planning to build power plants, railways, roads, ports and other projects worth $575 billion worldwide from Sri Lanka to Greece.

Although Biden intends to catch up with the PRC, it will be difficult to do so. In any case, for a very long time, the United States will be forced to chase a competitor, spending colossal sums, because most of the American infrastructure is outdated and dilapidated. Citing a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Bloomberg reports that 43% of public roads in the United States are in poor or mediocre condition. At the same time, 42% of the country’s bridges are at least half a century old, and 7.5% of them are generally considered imperfect.

“The United States is entering a competition that could last for decades in which economic and technological power will be as important, if not more important, than military might”.

In any case, despite Biden’s ambitions, the experience of the last presidents suggests that the current one will also fail in this field, writes Bloomberg.

Trump, at the dawn of his short political career, was positioned as a “president-builder”. He proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, funded primarily by private investment, but never received approval.

Barack Obama has pledged to bet heavily on high-speed rail as a tool to pull the United States out of the 2008 financial crisis. More than a decade later, the California line, where most of the money went, is still in its early stages of construction.

China is definitely winning the infrastructure race. There are a number of reasons for this, the article says. The PRC has access to cheap labor as well as impressive engineering expertise. Much of China’s infrastructure has been rebuilt from scratch over the past few decades.

Beijing has long relied on massive infrastructure spending to stimulate the national economy and, more recently, to obtain international support through investment or overseas aid.

The spending helped protect China’s economy from the fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis and limited the slowdown in growth following the coronavirus pandemic last year.


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