Cement Americas

SPR 2018

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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www.cementamericas.com • Spring 2018 • CEMENT AMERICAS 13 CEMENTSCOPE Infrastructure The Portland Cement Association (PCA) issued the fol- lowing statement in response to publication of the Amer- ican Council for Capital Formation's (ACCF) new study, "How to Shape U.S. Infrastructure Policy." "America deserves world-class infrastructure, and to get there we need to change our thinking to include not just how best to fund it, but also how best to spend it," said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. "This report highlights the importance of life-cycle cost analy- sis and competition in paving – something that over the years has faded from infrastructure policy discussions. If federal and state decision makers took this report as a playbook, America would see tremendous taxpayer cost savings and stronger infrastructure built to last long into the future." Learn more about how cement and concrete provide the foundation for rebuilding America's infrastructure at www.cement.org/infrastructure. Budget PCA issued the following statement in response to the President's budget proposal for revitalizing the nation's infrastructure. "We are pleased to see the Administration's infrastruc- ture proposal, and see it as a place to start as we work with Congress to craft long-term, sustainable legislation," said Ireland. "Short-term, stop-gap funding bills have contributed to the poor state of our roads, bridges, water- ways and runways. We urge Congress to work in a bipar- tisan manner to quickly pass a bill that supports jobs and the economy." Congress PCA lauded President Donald Trump's call for $1.5 tril- lion to be invested in revitalizing the nation's infrastruc- ture, and urged Congress to take swift legislative action to fully fund and sustain projects now and into the future. "America's cement producers are proud to play a criti- cal role in what the President so aptly described as our nation of builders," said Ireland. "Today, our industry is ready to help America both rebuild long-neglected infra- structure, and construct new-and-improved transporta- tion networks capable of serving the nation long into the future." Ireland added the cement industry's strong support for swift legislative action to fund such infrastructure invest- ments, including the need to address significant federal funding gaps. "Taxpayers deserve to see the best return on their invest- ment. That's why we are seeking long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding that addresses the federal High- way Trust Fund's shortfalls and maximizes the value of taxpayer investments," Ireland said. Economy Economic momentum supported by tax reform and fed- eral infrastructure programs will play key roles in the demand for concrete construction in the years ahead, said Ed Sullivan, Portland PCA senior vice president and chief economist. At a press conference during the 2018 World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Sullivan offered a glimpse at the association's upcoming Spring Forecast for cement production and concrete construction. Sullivan noted the strong economy comes in context of continued strain to find skilled workers, including those needed for construction projects. He also noted that recent immigration policies will add to the workforce shortage. Weather conditions and other economic factors prompt- ed PCA to revise its 2017 Fall Forecast down slightly, though its fundamental assessments pertaining to the economy, construction markets, and cement consump- tion remain on target. "There is little doubt that the near-term outlook for con- struction and cement consumption in 2018 and 2019 remain favorable," he said. "Strengthening econom- ic conditions, with the addition of fiscal stimulus, and in the context of already low unemployment could awaken inflationary pressures. Down the road, this could lead to an even more stringent monetary policy, leading to an acceleration in interest rate increases and an eventual cooling of construction markets. If this scenario plays out, it will likely take time to gestate and not materialize to a significant degree until after 2019." Portland Cement Association News

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