'I Make America Town Hall Tour" hits Bismarck; emphasizes infrastructure

Aug 16, 2018

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers brought its “I Make America” tour to Bismarck’s Doosan Bobcat Acceleration Center Thursday.

The tour is part of a campaign by the Association to support infrastructure spending.

"Improving our nation's infrastructure is good for our bottom line," Doosan Bobcat North America President Rich Goldsbury told a crowd of Bobcat employees. "More construction projects means more equipment sales for Bobcat."

But Goldsbury said it means much more than that.

"It connects our suppliers to our factories," Goldsbury said. "It connects our factories to our dealers, and our dealers to our customers."

Goldsbury chairs the AEM.

AEM president Dennis Slater said the Trump Administration talked about big investments in infrastructure projects – including highway, bridges, and broadband.  He said he wants to get that issue back to the top of the agenda.

"It shouldn't be forgotten, but it happens every cycle," Slater said in an interview. "At the start of an election, infrastructure is key. But they just don't get it done."

Slater said poiltical leaders can't just keep repeating that cycle.

"They have to make a brave decision to fund this infrastructure," Slater said.

Goldsbury said if you don’t invest in infrastructure, you fall behind.

"China's not falling behind; Germany's not falling behind," Goldsbury said. "They invest a large part of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in building infrastructure."