US President Joe Biden said that the infrastructure investment package, estimated at $ 1.2 trillion, is necessary to keep the United States ahead of China, which had previously indicated that its investments in infrastructure far exceed American investments, and warned at the time that China will “eat our lunch” without a corresponding investment.
Politico described the bipartisan consensus on Biden’s plan as “a rare thing that carries a message to China.”
The package, which is likely to be approved by the Senate this weekend, includes spending $550 billion in financing roads, bridges, railroads, the Internet, and electric vehicle technology.
However, reviewing the amount of spending proposed in Beijing’s latest annual budget and its five-year plan indicates a huge challenge facing the United States in trying to keep pace with China, especially since the latter used more cement during the period between 2011 and 2013 than the United States used during the entire twentieth century.
According to figures provided by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, Beijing spent about $8 trillion on infrastructure investments in 2020, during the same period in which the United States spent $146 billion on infrastructure investments.
Comparing infrastructure spending for 2018, based on the percentage spending of GDP for the 48 OECD countries, China ranks first, with 5.57 percent, compared to 0.52 percent for the United States.
Speaking to Politico, Jonathan Hellman, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “I think it’s encouraging to see bipartisan recognition of the challenge posed by China.”
He added that bipartisan support for the bill was a “strong signal” to officials in China who “believe the United States is in decline.”
On Saturday, Biden’s plan to fund infrastructure has passed a key stage in the Senate thanks to broad support from Democrats and Republican members, and its approval is almost guaranteed before it is submitted to the House of Representatives.
This plan, which the US President described as “historic”, is the fruit of months of negotiations and a rare consensus between Republican and Democratic members of the Senate. The plan allocates new federal spending of $550 billion for investments in road and bridge development, transportation, broadband Internet and combating climate change.
The value of the plan amounts to 1200 billion, equivalent to Spain’s GDP in 2020, if the transfer of public funds allocated to other projects is taken into account for the benefit of this plan.
Biden said in a tweet, Saturday, that this agreement “constitutes a historic investment. We can only implement it.”
The passage of the text would be a resounding victory for the Democratic president, who is counting on economic recovery and combating the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, former US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that this agreement was a “shameful”.
“It would be hard for me to support an idiot to vote for the deal,” he threatened in a statement, while the former president remains popular with Republican voters and with the midterms approaching, in 2022.