On August 29, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program co-hosted its third off-site event on the future of infrastructure investment in the United States with the Center for European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rebuilding the United States’ infrastructure is a key component of the Trump administration’s economic agenda. The White House currently plans to spend $200 billion of public money to spur private investment with the goal of reaching a total of $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment.
Congressman David Price, who represents North Carolina’s 4th district and is the ranking member of the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, opened the event with keynote remarks. Congressman Price then joined a panel that included Carlota Cenalmor, Senior Institutional Adviser and Deputy Head of US Representative at the European Investment Bank, Thomas McLoughlin, Head Americas Fixed Income at UBS Wealth Management Chief Investment Office, and Michael Whalen, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director for the Build America Bureau at the US Department of Transportation. Ms. Cenalmor explained how the EU’s Investment Plan works and why the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) offers useful lessons of how to use risk sharing and limited public funding to catalyze private sector investment for infrastructure projects. Mr. McLoughlin underscored the concerns of private infrastructure investors and what the public sector should do to incentivize investment. Prof. John D. Stephens, Director of the Center for European Studies, moderated the panel discussion.