US highway bill won't benefit steel industry until end of 2016: trade group
It will likely be some time before the steel industry benefits from the recently signed US highway transportation bill, according to Adam Parr, vice president of policy and communications at the Steel Manufacturers Association.
"The economic impact of this bill really won't be felt until the end of 2016, early 2017," Parr told the Platts Steel Markets North America Conference in Chicago Tuesday.
The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), passed in December, represents a five-year, $305 billion investment. The bill funds surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2020, reauthorizes taxes to support the Highway Trust Fund through September 2022 and improves the federal permit review process for infrastructure projects.
"Given the size and scope of the kind of projects that will be involved, it is just going to take some time," Parr said.
The investment under the FAST Act is an 11% increase over previous levels, but is still not at the level it needs to be, Parr said.
"We need increased infrastructure investment at the local, state and federal level," he said.