The trade group, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the lobby group, Building America’s Future, has released results from a new survey highlighting manufacturers’ concerns about America’s roads and bridges, transit and aviation systems and ports.

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

According to the survey of more than 400 manufacturers, a majority believes American infrastructure is in fair or poor shape, while roads in particular are getting worse. There is strong agreement among participants that U.S. infrastructure is not positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy.

“Improving our ports, highways, and bridges is essentially an economic driver. Modernized ports and transportation systems enable American manufacturers and businesses to export their goods to countries around the world, which strengthens our economy here at home,” says Ed Rendell, Building America’s Future co-chair and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.  “I hope leaders in Washington seize the opportunity to make the significant investments our country really needs to stay competitive in the global economy, or we risk falling further behind our competitors."

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons says the survey clearly demonstrates that United State’s approach to investing in infrastructure is not improving at a pace to keep up with the growing needs of manufacturers and it risks falling behind.

“Our outdated roads, ports and inland waterways are in desperate need of repair and continue to add costs and complications as manufacturers move their products to market,” he says. “The good news is that Congress and the President have a chance right now to address the neglect of our infrastructure and ensure that manufacturing in the United States remains competitive.”

The report comes as Congress has just over a year to pass new highway funding legislation and for it to be signed by the president before the current authorization expires at the end of September 2013.