President Obama got some things done when it came to rebuilding America’s aging infrastructure. But not a ton, as the infrastructure spending was allocated from the broader $800 million stimulus plan designed to lift the U.S. economy out of the Great Recession.
As for President Trump, he ran on a plan to spend $1 trillion plus to rebuild decaying bridges, roads and railroad tracks. In February of this year, there was reportedly bipartisan support for a $2 trillion infrastructure spending package. But with neither party being able to find ways to pay for the program and the president locked in an impeachment battle with the Democrats, the prospect for an infrastructure spending plan within the next year or so looks remote.
Even if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency in 2020 (which currently looks like a slim chance), his recent proposal to spend $1.3 trillion to rebuild the U.S. infrastructure appears to be a medium-term pipe-dream. But at some point within the next decade, Congress and the executive branch will have to find a way to pay for the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.
There is no other choice as lives are at risk.
According to the latest available report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (2017), U.S. infrastructure gets a grade of D+. That’s the same grade it got back in 2013.
Assessments are released every four years.
The American Society of Civil Engineers projects the U.S. needs to spend a dizzying $4.5 trillion by 2025 to improve the state of its roads, bridges, dams and airports.
For investors, making a bet today via purchasing stocks of companies that could play a key role in rebuilding U.S. infrastructure may be a wise move. A rebuilding plan of any kind is not priced into the sector — so when the inevitable plan does arise because there is no other choice to fund one, industrials of all kinds could be re-rated higher by the market.
Well-known dealmaker and investor Sir Martin E. Franklin is one getting on board the infrastructure play today.
“Look, you don’t have to be an economist or industrialist to just look at American infrastructure and know that it needs a lot of investment. The U.S. is badly in need of infrastructure improvement,” Franklin said on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. Franklin, who founded consumer products conglomerate Jarden and sold it to Newell Rubbermaid in 2015 for $13.2 billion, acquired diversified industrial APi Group in September for about $2.9 billion through his investment vehicle J2 Acquisition.
APi Group does everything from serving as an oil pipeline contractor to offering fire protection and security services. Franklin believes the business is primed to benefit from a pickup in infrastructure spending. He and his team continue to actively scout for other industrial-centric businesses to add to J2 Acquisition’s holdings.
“So yes, I think it’s [infrastructure] a good long-term play for investors,” Franklin added.