The IMAGINE Act pushes for greater investment and research into composites and innovative materials to rebuild the American infrastructure.
On Tuesday night during the 2019 State of the Union Address, President Trump called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to rebuild America’s infrastructure, including “new and important infrastructure investment…in the cutting-edge industries of the future.”
Congress responded swiftly today by introducing the IMAGINE (Innovative Materials in American Growth and Infrastructure, Newly Expanded) Act. Sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tina Smith (D-MN), the new legislation promotes:
- the increased use of innovative materials like fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in the nation’s infrastructure;
- new manufacturing methods to accelerate the deployment and extend the life of infrastructure projects at a reduced cost;
- and improvements to the economy, safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the U.S. infrastructure network.
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the world’s largest composites industry trade group, worked closely with the offices of Senators Whitehouse, Alexander and Collins to develop the legislation and ensure its provisions would provide an opportunity for composites to contribute to the revitalization of American infrastructure. The inclusion of composites and advanced materials in the IMAGINE act is a victory for the composites manufacturing industry, which contributes more than $75 billion to the American economy and is growing at a rate double GDP.
ACMA President Tom Dobbins stated, “Composites have been used in infrastructure projects for decades, but not yet to a degree that maximizes their potential. Our materials are strong, light weight, and durable. By being rust and corrosion proof, they will not degrade. They can extend the service life of infrastructure assets and minimize maintenance, dramatically reducing the lifecycle costs of our nation’s infrastructure.”
Dobbins continued, “Composite rebars, bridge decks and components, seawalls, water treatment and distribution equipment, utility structures are just some examples of solutions available today that far surpass traditional methods. The IMAGINE Act establishes a clear pathway to a resilient, reliable and safe infrastructure that will benefit our future generations.”
On February 13-14, 2019, ACMA will continue the momentum of the IMAGINE Act when they host an Infrastructure Day Fly-In event in Washington, DC. The event will be an opportunity for composites manufacturers and business leaders to meet with legislators and congressional leaders to educate them about composite infrastructure products and key issues impacting the industry. For more information about ACMA’s Infrastructure Fly-In, visit www.acmanet.org/events. More information about the IMAGINE Act is available on the website for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.