• Trump made his call just days after he signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package
  • Trump cited the currently low interest rates as a good reason for working on infrastructure now
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs $2 trillion in infructure investment by 2025

President Trump said Tuesday now is the time to work on America’s infrastructure now that interest rates are back to zero, proposing $2 trillion in spending as Congress works on the next phase of relief from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The U.S. Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate to zero to 0.25% earlier this month.

Congress last week pushed through a $2.2 trillion relief package last week that concentrated on direct payment to taxpayers, unemployment benefits and help for big and small businesses. It followed two other multibillion-dollar measures.

Trump tweeted the next wave of coronavirus relief should be focused on infrastructure and jobs.

Trump’s tweet coincides with announcements by major retailers laying off hundreds of thousands of workers. Initial unemployment claims were expected to reach as high as 5.5 million when the figures are released Thursday, following last weeks more than 3 million claims. Unemployment figures to be released Friday, however, are not expected to reflect the coronavirus layoffs, most of which hit after the monthly survey was taken.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated the U.S. needs $2 trillion in additional funding for infrastructure by 2025.

The World Economic Forum said the best way of reviving the U.S. economy once the COVID-19 danger passes likely would be focusing on infrastructure.

“Infrastructure creates economic growth, 5G cellular infrastructure will allow for faster data rates, a better electric grid allows us to drive electric cars and new roads reduce congestion and commute times,” the forum said.

The forum said the U.S. is 30 years behind on its infrastructure.

“Despite being the world’s leader in innovation, the U.S. has not been able to merge its technological capabilities with traditional infrastructure practices,” the forum said, recommending projects be based on data instead of political considerations.

“There will be no way out of the coming recession without a fiscal plan that involves infrastructure. If the U.S. is going to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in the infrastructure industry, it must use the crisis to reform the sector and make sure it emerges from this recession with a stronger, more durable economy than before.”