Seems the State Department last week granted a permit for a major U.S. - Canada construction project.
No, not that project, but a big one nonetheless: the construction of a $1 billion bridge over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor to relieve congestion and build trade over the most heavily used trade portal to this country. (There’s now only one, privately owned, 80-year-old bridge over the river.)
Estimates are that the overall cost will come to $3.5 billion and will create about 12,000 direct jobs and 31,000 indirect jobs (cement, steel and so forth) in both countries, according to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).
The jobs would be split between the United States and Canada, but even at that, the total might be about what the controversial Keystone XL project would produce — depending on which of the wildly varying estimates is correct.
Even better, the Canadians are committed to paying Michigan’s half of the bridge construction cost with future toll revenue paying off that debt.
So let’s see, you’ve got: (1) A major infrastructure improvement project; (2) increased international trade; (3) bipartisan support; and, (4) 20,000 American jobs being created.
To paraphrase Vice President Biden, seems like this is kind of a big deal. But only the Canadian and Michigan media paid much attention to the permit grant, which is the final go-ahead move. Digital and print media (The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and so on) wrote short items based mostly on wire service reports.
The State Department issued a statement last week noting the permit, but, best we can tell, the White House, perhaps focused on guns, nuclear threats, immigration and so forth, demurred.
Well, Obama won Michigan and Ohio last time so . . ..