In China, AFL-CIO's Trumka Sees Contrast Between Bankrupt Transatlantic vs. Progress of Eurasia
January 18, 2014 • 11:30AM

Just back from an eye-opening trip to China, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a Jan. 14 telephone press conference that the union will lobby heavily for Congress to approve new infrastructure development. He reeled off statistics and relating them to crumbling roads, structurally deficient bridges and lack of new development. The nation needs "opportunities and challenges to create good jobs and a basis for prosperity," he said, as People's World reported Jan. 17. "We'll talk about it to anyone who will listen."

Trumka listed the need for mass transit, highways, high-speed rail, railroads and airports, along with such dubious or wasteful investments as "clean energy" and modernizing the U.S. electrical grid.

Trumka chose high-speed rail as his example of a major impact of the lack of infrastructure investment: the U.S. trailing other big trading nations. He noted that his trip to China had shown him the infrastructure contrast between the world's two largest economies.

Both nations made a commitment to high-speed bullet trains, Trumka noted. The U.S. "chose austerity" in 2010 and has yet to build a single mile, he lamented. "But now China's high speed trains carry as many passengers as the U.S. airlines system."

His conclusion? The U.S. is falling behind in infrastructure investment vital to keep the economy going. "To compete with China, India, and Germany, we have to invest, but our meager federal investment isn't enough," Trumka declared.