President Trump has long stressed the need to improve Americaâ€™s infrastructure, describing U.S. airports as "third world." Now the administration is pushing to make changes. â€œInfrastructure is a super big deal and itâ€™s liked by both Republicans and Democrats because itâ€™s needed,â€ said Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman in an interview with the FOX Business Networkâ€™s Maria Bartiromo.
Schwarzman, chairman of President Trumpâ€™s Strategic and Policy Forum, said speeding up the infrastructure project process is essential as the U.S. is falling behind globally. â€œThe US is now 16th in the world in infrastructure. And anybody who goes to our airports or drives on our roads knows is in close touch that we can do better. And if you travel abroad you see that we can really do much, much better.â€
Schwarzman says itâ€™s not just an issue of funding, but getting the government bureaucracy out of the way.
â€œItâ€™s more than [red] tape, this is some other super, itâ€™s Elmerâ€™s glue, you just canâ€™t get stuff done. And in Canada and Germany it takes two years to approve whole projects that take us 10 to 15 years.â€
Because of the red tape, Schwarzman says just throwing money at an infrastructure problem doesnâ€™t mean it will get done.
â€œSo, you have to attack infrastructure not just financially, because in a way itâ€™s very important but itâ€™s more the tail of the dog, if you were given a lot of money it would be hard to build something anyhow.â€
â€œGet the Republicans and Democrats together and say, â€˜I actually want to build something,â€™â€ Schwarzman continued, â€œItâ€™s going to involve some people giving up some control, but what you get for that, youâ€™ll get lots and lots and lots of infrastructure.â€