U.S. Global Competitiveness Diminishes as Infrastructure Lacks Investment

                                         George Washington Bridge, connecting Manhattan, NY to Fort Lee, NJ

                                        George Washington Bridge, connecting Manhattan, NY to Fort Lee, NJ

It's a fact that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling and aging. The average American dodges potholes, struggles with traffic congestion, and copes with air travel hassles and all the while having minimal access to any adequate public transportation. But a country’s infrastructure is more than just transportation grids. America's infrastructure includes other things like water supplies, waste-water grids, the electrical grid, shipping ports, schools, and hospitals. These cumulatively are known as the built environment and together they account for the US's built assets. In a recent report produced by the global natural and built asset consultancy ARCADIS in coordination with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, an economic research and forecasting firm, found that the US generated approximately 37 percent of GDP in 2013 from built assets which is less than the global average of 40% (Wilcox, 2014). The report also measures returns on assets as a measure of GDP, and of that measure, the US is forecast to rank second with 5.7 trillion and China forecast to rank first with 7.4 trillion in 2014, while India, Japan, and Germany are forecast to rank 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in 2014 (Rawlinson & Edwards, n.d.). While the US performs well overall, the trend for growth in built assets is sluggish. "...the US needs to review the condition and use of its current assets and be strategic about its new asset creation in order to maintain its competitiveness and improve performance over the next decade" (Rawlinson & Edwards, n.d.). It is clear, the US needs to invest more in their infrastructure and this report supports that assumption.

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Built assets contributed $27 trillion to global GDP during 2013. (2014, May 7). Retrieved May 25, 2014, from Center for Economics and Business Research website: http://www.cebr.com/reports/global-built-asset-performance-index/

Rawlinson, S., & Edwards, C. (n.d.). Global Built Asset Performance Index 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from ARCADIS website: http://www.arcadis.com/builtassetindex/index.html

Wilcox, K. (2014, May 20). Report Examines Role of Infrastructure on GDP. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from Civil Engineering website: http://www.asce.org/cemagazine/Article.aspx?id=23622330933#.U4KIYij7GIB