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AEM Co-Hosts Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure

LAS VEGAS, NV — The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) recently co-hosted the first-ever presidential candidate forum on infrastructure on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The Moving America Forward: A 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure featured former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer. The four Democratic presidential candidates all agreed that “the U.S. faces an urgent need to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and highways” and offered their plans for how to overhaul the nation’s transportation network and create construction jobs.

AEM Board Chair and Reed International/VSS Macropaver President & CEO Jeffrey Reed, George Reed, Inc. President Margaret Reed, AEM President Dennis Slater and AEM Senior Vice President, Construction and Utility Sector Megan Tanel had a front row seat for the event. It marked the first time presidential candidates participated in a forum focused exclusively on infrastructure, with the national media treating and covering this as they would any other debate.

Slater told national media outlets on hand covering the event that “any candidate who wants to make it to November’s ballot must keep infrastructure — and the equipment manufacturing industry’s 1.3 million men and women — at the top of their list.”

AEM partnered with American Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Transportation Association, The Value of Water Campaign, Transport Workers Union of America, The International Union of Operating Engineers and Airports Council International – North America to raise the profile of infrastructure as a key issue during the 2020 election.

Biden proposed a $1.3-trillion plan to rebuild roads, bridges and highways and promote a high-speed rail system. Klobuchar, who made infrastructure the subject of the first policy rollout of her campaign, said she would spend $1 trillion on the projects, including $650 billion in direct federal funding for infrastructure. Buttigieg outlined a program to put $1 trillion into infrastructure in partnership with states and cities, a plan he says would create 6 million jobs. Steyer, meanwhile, proposed dedicating $2 trillion in public spending to promote “climate-smart” infrastructure.

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The forum attracted a host of elected officials, including U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, U.S. Representatives Steven Horsford and Dina Titus and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

AEM staff, led by AEM Senior Vice President, Government and Industry Relations Kip Eideberg, also had the opportunity to speak to each of the presidential candidates, highlighting issues that are critical to the industry’s growth and presenting them with AEM-branded replicas.

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