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January 15, 2013 4:30 PM, EST
Report Says More U.S. Infrastructure Spending Would Boost Jobs, Economy
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Increasing annual U.S. infrastructure spending by $157 billion in the next eight years would save $3.1 trillion in gross domestic product, $1.1 trillion in trade and 3.5 million jobs, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The $157 billion would be on top of expected U.S. spending of about $207 billion a year, the American Society of Civil Engineers said in its report, titled “Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future,” Bloomberg News reported.

Current U.S. policies will underfund surface transportation, aviation, waterways, the electrical grid and sewers by about $1.1 trillion through 2020, the report said.

ASCE said that “regardless of how quickly goods can be offloaded at the nation’s ports, if highway and rail infrastructure needed to transport these goods to market is congested, traffic will slow and costs to business will rise, creating a drag on the U.S. economy that is ultimately reflected in a lower GDP.”

Without the added investment, U.S. business costs will increase by $1.2 trillion and household costs by $611 billion, ASCE said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it backed more public and private investment and innovative strategies to help rebuild transportation systems in need of repair, Bloomberg reported, citing a Chamber official.