As President Obama prepares his Labor Day Speech for tomorrow’s Detroit festivities, one wonders whether the proposed Detroit River International Crossing (now known as the New International Trade Crossing) is on his mind. The exact content of his speech is unknown now, but it being Labor Day, we can assume the message will be about jobs.
President Obama would do well to discus DRIC/NITC on Labor Day, as nothing creates jobs like increased international trade and large public works projects. Unfortunately, the 80-year-old Ambassador Bridge is a choke point for commerce between the U.S. and its biggest trading partner. The DRIC/NITC is a much-needed expansion to the largest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. Michigan, as well as both countries, would benefit.
The federal government already agreed to match Canada’s pledge to loan $550 million to Michigan for its half of the crossing. This project would be an outstanding example of an infrastructure improvement premised on the issuance of federal bonds. Alternative financing like this would actually help remedy the Treasury’s fiscal issues and shrink the deficit by contributing to economic growth.
It’s time the President used this opportunity to get the public and Michigan legislators in gear for this project. Mr. President, please remind Michiganders that the nation is depending on them to get this bridge built!
President Barack Obama will travel to Detroit on Sept. 5 to speak at the city’s annual Labor Day festivities, a spokesperson for the AFL-CIO told WWJ Newsradio 950 on Monday.
The White House confirmed Obama will speak at a Labor Day event sponsored by the Metro Detroit Central Labor Council.
WWJ spoke with Saundra Williams, President of the Detroit AFL-CIO which is planning the city’s annual Labor Day Parade.
“We are so pleased that he’ll be here. He’s done a lot for Michigan,” said Williams. “For all of those folks that, you know, don’t have jobs … it’s just a little inspiration and encouragement for them to come out and join with us.”