Interview: Trump's infrastructure plan to be unveiled, foreign participation in discussion, says transportation secretary
                 Source: Xinhua | 2017-04-01 03:25:34 | Editor: huaxia

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during an interview by Xinhua News Agency in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Mar. 28, 2017.(Xinhua/Bao Dandan)

by Xinhua writers Zhou Xiaozheng, Yang Shilong

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The ambitious infrastructure repair and rebuilding plan of the Trump administration is likely to be rolled out in the third quarter this year, with possible involvement of foreign companies, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has said.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao(L) speaks during an interview by Xinhua News Agency in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Mar. 28, 2017.(Xinhua/Bao Dandan)

INITIATIVES UNDER PREPARATION

"We need to address the deteriorating infrastructure of this country ... This is one of the president's top priorities," Chao told Xinhua in a recent interview in her Washington D.C. office.

But it is quite likely that "this will be a third-quarter initiative," as the president had to go through healthcare and tax reforms first, said Chao, who became the 18th transportation secretary after winning Senate confirmation on Jan. 31.

"We are working on the outlines and possible details of the infrastructure initiative. A package will be coming out later ... in the next several months," she added, without further elaboration.

As a key part of his "Make America Great Again" campaign pledge, President Donald Trump has proposed investing 1 trillion U.S. dollars over 10 years to upgrade the country's infrastructure, which he described as being on a par with "a third-world country."

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation's overall infrastructure a grade of D+ in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card released earlier this month.

A total investment of 4.59 trillion dollars would be required to lift the U.S. infrastructure from a D+ to a B grade, the report card projected.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during an interview by Xinhua News Agency in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Mar. 28, 2017.(Xinhua/Bao Dandan)

"GREATER AWARENESS" of "BUY AMERICAN, HIRE AMERICAN"

Chao said the United States "could certainly learn from other countries," adding that "there are (infrastructure) technologies and skill sets that we don't possess in the United States."

Trump has repeatedly praised the up-to-date infrastructure facilities in places like Dubai, Qatar and China.

However, Chao said that whether foreign companies would be allowed to participate in Trump's new infrastructure programs is still a "subject of discussion right now."

Even if they are granted access, foreign companies also need to change their old way of doing bu