The Higher Road

Forging a U.S. Strategy for the Global Infrastructure Challenge

Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate. Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore.

CSIS launched the Global Infrastructure Task Force to help forge a bipartisan, public-private consensus on a strategy for U.S. success in today’s global infrastructure build-out. The task force was made up of a diverse set of experts with extensive experience in government, academia, multilateral institutions, and the private sector, co-chaired by former U.S. trade representative Charlene Barshefsky and former national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.