Caterpillar CEO Warns of Obstacle to U.S. Competiveness

By George Backwell
Monday, July 14, 2014
Highway works: Image credit Caterpillar

In a July 10, 2014 opinion article headlined, "Congress must move on the Highway Trust Fund," Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman outlined the risks to U.S. competitiveness if Washington's leaders can't fix short and long term infrastructure funding issues.

Doug Oberhelman joined other business leaders and Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting held by the White House Business Council at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 9. At the meeting, Doug spoke as part of a panel with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to urge policymakers to pass legislation before money runs out of the Highway Trust Fund and MAP-21 authorization expires.

"American companies implement just-in-time inventory and on-demand supply chains. We produce vehicles and machines with greater fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions. We lead the world in innovation, inventing better products and better processes," Oberhelman wrote. "We unleash all this creativity, and then are constrained by inefficient infrastructure, much of which was built when cars still drove with leaded gas."

"Imagine if we didn’t have such inefficiency.  Imagine if we didn’t have congestion delays, indirect routes and the higher costs they bring. Imagine if the United States planned and implemented a 21st century transportation system that creates jobs and growth, and ensures the United States remains the economic envy of the world. A similar vision motivated the White House and Congress to find a solution in the 20th Century, and should be enough to motivate them again now."

Caterpillar points out that it is also a founding member of the Alliance for American Competitiveness, a group of leading U.S. companies that rely on an integrated, efficient and effective transportation system for their businesses. The Alliance is actively working to ensure that an effective and long-term solution can be reached to fund U.S. infrastructure needs.

Source: Caterpillar


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