Our parents, Republicans and Democrats, made the national public investments that made our country an economic engine: A national system of highways, railways, bridges; a power transmission grid; a network of phone lines for communications. We need to make the same investments today -- rebuilding our roads and bridges, making our power grid smarter and more efficient, and supporting new means of communication for all Americans, through broadband and wireless.
A local illustration is at the Port of San Diego, where I serve as a Port Commissioner. We provide maritime jobs that pay $10,000 more annually than the average San Diego job. But one of our biggest challenges in growing that job base is our limited connection to the national highways and rail system. We don't have the ability to fund those connections by ourselves; but with a national strategy for ports, we could identify and make the investments that will help us increase trade and efficiency. That could put a lot of San Diegans back to work right away.
China invests 9% of its gross domestic product in infrastructure investment. Europe is investing 5%. In America, we invest 2.5%, and Congress is trying to cut that. In Congress, I will fight for infrastructure investment so we can increase our competitiveness in a global economy.