Workers in the US and Canada want to see more of their pension funds put safely to work at home, helping rebuild our domestic infrastructure, expand our economy, and rebuild the middle class by creating new and lasting jobs. To keep the promise of retirement security for a new generation of workers, our pension funds need the strong and reliable long-term returns that investable infrastructure can deliver, but until now, institutional investors have had a hard time finding attractive infrastructure investment opportunities in North America. SEIU supports the establishment of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX), which promises to bridge the gap between investors and domestic infrastructure needs while protecting the interests of working people and our environment.
We all know that the time to invest in American infrastructure is now, and the establishment of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange sets down a marker that says these states won’t wait to be told how to rebuild for the future they need. They understand the cost for failure to act is almost impossible to consider, so they are joining forces to line up the best ideas, the best practices, and the smartest ways to raise and spend the funds they need and to get started now. I strongly support this effort and I intend to help the new Exchange build a national, “bottom-up” infrastructure network to help get the job done.
In the coming decades, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will need to invest an estimated $1 trillion to improve their roads, rail, power grids, and other infrastructure. With state budgets tight and with less financing from the federal government, private finance is going to be required in order to meet these needs. By establishing a center of expertise to provide technical assistance, set standards and provide investment information, and simultaneously advancing new mechanisms for project finance with the potential to attract private investors, we’re creating the space for institutional investors to get involved in a big way. The leaders of these states are committed to realizing the potential of the Exchange, promoting near-term job creation and long-term economic competitiveness by accessing private capital. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue to support them in that effort.
We look forward to active participation in the Exchange, especially in the development of business standards that will build upon the Province’s work that has governed more than $10 billion in infrastructure projects in the last decade.
The traditional source of public infrastructure financing – tax exempt financing – is inadequate to meet the infrastructure need.
Our nation's infrastructure investment gap hurts families and businesses alike. The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange is an innovative way to start solving this problem, and build a sustainable future. Every person is affected by our deteriorating infrastructure whether it’s sitting in traffic or sitting in the dark, we need to invest in our own foundation.
There is nothing more important right now than investing in America. By focusing on nation-building at home, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange will put Americans back to work and set us on the path to building a resilient America. This historic initiative will make us stronger, reignite our ability to lead and innovate, and ultimately power our productivity. A strong and sustainable America is a prosperous America.
We are interested in the vision for the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, particularly its goal to explore effective models for government to engage in true partnerships with infrastructure investment firms like ours.
- Public sector decision-makers use WCX to develop best practices and access hands-on training in innovative financing and maintenance methods.
- Potential investors and stakeholders have welcomed WCX’s efforts at developing standards common to multiple infrastructure types across the three states.
- Union and public employee pension funds, which jointly direct hundreds of billions of dollars of investment decisions, are especially interested in WCX’s efforts for multiple reasons: the opportunity for long-term investments that match their liabilities, the resulting living-wage jobs, and the economic growth fostered by improved infrastructure.