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Trump Advisers Push to Privatize Infrastructure

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By Tim Pearce

The Trump administration wants to privatize some public assets like airports and bridges to help modernize and rebuild the United States’ infrastructure.

According to the Washington Post, President Trump wants to designate $200 billion over the next 10 years to pay out as bonuses to state and local governments. The bonuses are meant to reward states and municipalities for selling off publicly owned assets and reinvesting in more modern infrastructure.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao voiced support of the initiative and says projects like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to sell Midway International Airport to a private company in 2013, should be encouraged.

Australia runs a similar program, called “asset recycling,” that funds infrastructure improvements through the sale of old government-owned assets. While visiting Australia in April, Vice President Pence voiced his support of the model, saying then that the president wanted to “do more of this.”

Trump’s budget proposal says the administration “will work to fix underlying incentives, procedures, and policies” to encourage improvements in the national infrastructure.

While the president has not yet decided which initiatives and ideas will fit into his final infrastructure plan, the final draft will include changes in policy, regulation, and increased focus on turning over management of public infrastructure to private companies.

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