Trump touts infrastructure, economy as construction stocks surge

President Donald Trump was in Ohio on Thursday to tout his massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure overhaul and the effects it could have on the growing U.S. economy.

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“We will transform our roads and bridges from a source of endless frustration into a source of incredible pride,” Trump said. “We’re going to do it all under budget and ahead of schedule.”

Shares of infrastructure-related stocks got a boost on Thursday, with U.S. Steel nearly 5% higher during the afternoon hours of the trading session. AK Steel was up more than 4.2% and civil marine contractor Orion Group jumped 5.5%. KBR, Jacobs Engineering and U.S. Concrete were also in the green.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
KBRKBR INC29.97-0.70-2.28%
USCRU.S. CONCRETE INC.37.57-1.20-3.10%

Stocks in infrastructure-related sectors were outpacing gains in the S&P 500, according to data compiled by FOX Business senior editor Charles Brady.

In Ohio, Trump spoke to mechanics, engineers and heavy equipment operators at a training site in Richfield, where he said the U.S. has created 3 million jobs since the election.

“We’ve got the greatest economy ever, maybe in history … there’s never been an economy like this,” Trump said.

On Wednesday, the Council of Economic Advisers estimated the infrastructure revamp could create more than 410,000 jobs over the course of the next decade, in addition to boosting GDP by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points annually. National Association of Manufacturing President Jay Timmons said the president’s plan will also “supercharge” the manufacturing sector.

The president’s plan calls for $1.5 trillion over the course of the next decade to overhaul the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and even broadband distribution. The funds are expected to result from a combination of public and private assistances, with the federal government contributing around $200 billion. It is largely up to states and localities to work with the private sector to raise the rest of the cash.

Another big focal point for the federal government is streamlining the environmental review and permitting process. Trump has railed against the burdensome permitting process, which he has said can stall projects upwards of 10 years as proposals are reviewed by multiple agencies. The new plan aims to cut that entire review process down to a maximum of two years, with single-agency approval required.

While infrastructure reform has largely been perceived as a bipartisan initiative, the White House’s proposed funding structure could raise challenges. Senate Republicans will need the help of at least eight Democrats to pass the bill through the chamber, assuming all GOP members are on board.