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Bill Radke: Today, President Obama will announce another spending plan to bring high-speed rail to U.S. cities including Tampa, Orlando, Cincinatti and Cleveland. From the Marketplace Transportation Desk, Collin Campbell reports.
Collin Campbell: High-speed rail projects are being funded by the federal stimulus. The goal for the White House is to create jobs with this money. The problem is the only people who know how to do this sound like this:
Euro-engineer montage: High-speed trains; high-speed rail; state of the art trains.
The world leaders in high-speed rail are from Spain, Japan and Germany. But when they set up shop, they will be required to get 60 percent of train parts from U.S. suppliers.
Companies like TALGO of Spain are ready to hire U.S. workers. Here’s Antonio Perez, CEO of American operations:
Antonio Perez: As an equation, you could say like every 12 trains, 350 jobs.
But after the trains and the tracks are built, what’s left for the economy? State transportation officials say more people can commute into cities from more remote areas. And business travel will become cheaper and easier, says David Crane. He’s an economic advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
David Crane So you look at Pixar, which based in Emeryville in the East Bay, which is now owned by Disney, which is down in Los Angeles. Well the people who work in those communities, when they can work with each directly more often, you will tend to increase productivity.
So the shovel-ready projects funded today may make the rest of us more productive tomorrow.
In New York, I’m Collin Campbell for Marketplace.