America is excited about the Obama Administration's goal to develop a national high-speed rail network.
But, more than just moving passengers and goods more efficiently, high-speed rail will also be an engine for job growth in the US.
Today, as reported in Bloomberg, Reuters, and the AP, I am meeting with more than 100 business leaders, labor groups and rail experts. And I intend to make sure everyone in that room knows that American jobs are an absolute priority for this Administration as we develop the new rail system.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set aside $8 billion to jumpstart high-speed rail development, and we hope that money gets spent right here in the US where it can create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
We have already received commitments from over 30 companies in the rail business to create or expand U.S. rail manufacturing should they be awarded contracts for portions of this money. These companies know high-speed rail, and they could become partners to the state or regions awarded rail grants.
Let's be clear about this: we want to see that $8 billion do its job-creation work in America. We want to create good jobs right here and reinvigorate US manufacturing.