Trump to Meet With CEO Advisory Group to Discuss Infrastructure, Taxes

The private-sector Strategy and Policy Forum could add much-needed details to the president's proposed "national rebuilding" program.

President Donald Trump will meet today with his Strategy and Policy Forum, a standing group created in December 2016 of around 20 prominent business leaders meant to act as a private sector idea generator and sounding board for governmental policy. The group, which includes General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields, and Tesla head Elon Musk—but, notably, no longer includes Uber CEO Travis Kalanick after he stepped down in the face of the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” immigration rules—will discuss President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure program.

Trump’s stated goals for the infrastructure spend, to take place over 10 years, include modernizing airports, bolstering the electrical grid, improving the nation’s broadband internet coverage, and fixing bridges and roads. Mr. Trump has called for a mix of “public and private capital” to finance the initiative, which remains mostly free of official details.

While Trump is expected to court bipartisan support for the plan, early analysis suggests the President may have a tough time bringing Democrats on board. Leaked details of the plan suggest that the bulk of the $1 trillion—anywhere from $700 to $840 billion—is expected to come from a private sector induced to invest thanks to tax breaks, incentives, and perhaps, further gutting of environmental regulations, engendering concern that investors would find a cheap way to jump into projects that would have gone ahead anyway, benefitting financiers without creating significant new jobs.

The president and the assembled business leaders will also discuss tax reform—a separate legislative battle, but one that some lawmakers see as key to financing the governmental portion of Trump’s “national rebuilding” program.