China’s Success Affects Battle for U.S. Infrastructure Investment

Shenzhen section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway in construction. May 2011. Photo: Alancrh / wikimedia commons / CC BY-SA 3.0


President Donald Trump may be near another major policy shift away from the dead era of “globalization” — this time, an American exit from Barack Obama’s zero-growth “Paris Accord” — and continues to be the target of relentless intelligence-state attacks. Featuring another major German media mooting of assassinating Trump, this time by Der Spiegel, the globalists are furious to be rid of him.

But Americans voted for a fundamental change in economic policy, to make America a great industrial and technological nation again. And now, the threat to Trump from the so-called “deep state” may be being matched by the challenge of the deep potholes, and the deep economic holes into which millions of Americans have fallen.

The Trump Administration will reportedly circulate to Congress by mid-June an outline for U.S. investment in new economic infrastructure, and ask for legislation on it over the Summer. Even as the investment Trump will ask for, appears to be getting smaller than the $1 trillion he spoke about while campaigning, Democratic counterproposals are getting much bigger.

On behalf of the Democratic Progressive Caucus and constituency and labor groups backing them, about a dozen Democratic Representatives on May 25 presented a demand — in the form of a Congressional Resolution, not legislation — for more than $2 trillion in direct infrastructure investment by the Federal government over 10 years, with substantial focus on high-speed rail projects and new waterway and water-management projects. This followed a bill for $1.25 trillion in Federal grants for new infrastructure over just five years, introduced May 17 by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY).

Two factors are driving these proposals up: the alarming collapse of public infrastructure in major cities and states; and the excitement among those who know about China’s incredible Belt and Road infrastructure platforms and the public offers of China and Japan to invest in a U.S. infrastructure build.

Beijing’s May 14-15 “Belt and Road Forum” summit was a stunning success. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who gave a “World Land-Bridge” presentation during the summit and has worked on the germ of this Belt and Road Initiative for decades, described it as participation in the shaping of world history toward the better. Lyndon LaRouche, the author of the conception from 1989 on, said today, “We’ve established something worldwide, and it’s good.”

China’s issuance of productive credit to drive upward other nations’ economies as well as its own, has been unique in the world for a decade, a policy both Confucian, and “Hamiltonian.” The Hamiltonian policy is palpable in America as a potential.

A telling Asia Times article on May 29 was called “OBOR: How infrastructure funding trumps politics.” It begins by discussing Japan’s “surprising” turn toward China’s initiatives, the Belt and Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). But then, after reviewing the array of rail, port, power, etc. projects in many Asian countries, it turns to the United States.

“For the United States, China’s OBOR initiative has become a multi-dimensional challenge, influencing domestic matters as well as international politics. Primarily, China’s focus on multilateral development projects has highlighted an uncomfortable domestic issue for Trump: the decrepit state of America’s civil infrastructure and Congress’ resistance to the allocation of the funds needed to address it…. America’s second-largest city, Los Angeles, epitomizes the state of America’s crumbling infrastructure. Despite hoping to secure the rights to host the 2024 Olympics, the city is held back because of its potholed and traffic-congested roads, an aging telecommunications system, and the lack of reliable public transport. Mayor Eric Garcetti even made a heartfelt plea to Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, to fast-track a $1.3 billion package for the city’s subway line — but it’s unclear whether the administration will indulge him.

“Garcetti may go to China for investment.”

It turns out that China’s biggest rail car manufacturer, CRRC Corp., is already building 64 new cars for Los Angeles’s subways, and for other cities as well. These are company-bid contracts: but China’s President Xi and state bank leaders have made clear China could invest in providing credit for big new infrastructure platforms themselves, as well as helping build them; the same is true of Japan.

This requires an American national credit institution. EIR representatives at the Progressive Democrats’ event pressed on all attending, the need for a Hamiltonian national bank as the central credit source to make these projects possible.

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