President Joe Biden has signed a US$1.2trn infrastructure bill into law to finalise a key part of his economic agenda, CNN reported on 15 November.
The bill will deliver US$550bn of new federal investments in the USA’s infrastructure over five years, including improvements to road, railways and waterways.
Experts believe the money is needed to ensure the efficient transport of goods and produce across the country, according to the report.
The US Transportation Coalition said US agriculture and the soyabean industry, in particular, depended on a myriad of transportation modes to fulfil customer demands.
“A soyabean’s journey requires rural roads and bridges, highways and interstates, freight railroads, the inland waterway system and ports. Adequately maintaining and investing in each of these modes will be essential to preserve the profitability of the American soyabean farmer,” it said on its website. Barge transportation along the country’s inland waterway system, including locks and dams, was also vital, providing the most efficient mode to transport soyabeans to export terminals for much of the key soyabean growing regions.
The legislation would invest US$110bn for roads, bridges and other major infrastructure projects, significantly less than the US$159bn that Biden had initially requested in the American Jobs Plan, CNN wrote.
Included was US$40bn for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation and port infrastructure would also be improved with a US$17bn investment, CNN wrote.
The deal will also invest US$66bn in passenger and freight rail, according to the text, including the elimination of Amtrak's maintenance backlog, the modernisation of the Northeast Corridor line and the expansion of rail service to areas outside the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.
According to the text and a 57-page summary of the legislation, the package would partly be funded by repurposing unused Covid-19 relief funds, the report said.