Trump ‘very interested’ in Australia’s infrastructure model, Ambassador Joe Hockey says

Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey said Wednesday President Donald Trump is “very interested” in working with him to help shape the administration’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.

“The president’s talking about $1 trillion of infrastructure—maybe $1.5 trillion,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” “If America doesn’t build $4.5 trillion of infrastructure within seven years, its economy is going to start to go backwards, it’s going to start to lose millions of jobs.”

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Hockey, a former politician before becoming the ambassador to the U.S., is best known for delivering one of the largest federal infrastructure packages in Australia by using private-public partnerships -- a long-term arrangement between a private party and a government entity.

“Governments run out of money and you haven’t got enough money to be able to build everything that is needed,” he said.

Currently, the U.S. has the biggest infrastructure gap in the world. President Trump has consistently underlined the importance of rebuilding and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure to create jobs and maintain America’s economic competitiveness.  The administration’s 2018 budget calls on Congress to invest $200 billion while relying on the private sector to make up the $800 billion difference.

“The private sector is awash with money… government isn’t, as we are seeing,” Hockey said. “Utilize that private sector money and deliver the infrastructure which grows the economy.”

When Varney asked whether the U.S.’s “broken political system” would agree, he replied; “We’re trying… but no political system is easy.”