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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blowing Up Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last week, a crowd of 200 business reps and government officials piled into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Washington headquarters for the organization's annual State of American Business conference. Thomas Donohue, the Chamber's chief, ticked off priorities for 2007. His top three: education, energy and improving America's infrastructure.

On the latter, Donohue admitted at least one challenge. "Many people do not find infrastructure to be one of the more scintillating or sexy topics," he said.

No, infrastructure is not sexy. But the Chamber hopes to add some sparkle this spring, when it rolls out an infrastructure capacity initiative known as "Rebuilding America." The effort serves as more evidence, with implications for policy watchers and investors alike, that the building, construction, materials and transportation trades enjoy some of the hardiest support in Washington.