Infrastructure Package Benefits U.S. Metalcasters, Includes Historic Investments in Transportation and Water

A bipartisan infrastructure package supported by AFS was signed into law on Nov. 15 by President Biden.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is a sweeping, $1.2 trillion law that includes historic investment in essential American infrastructure served by the metalcasting industry. IIJA contains $550 billion in new spending to improve roads, bridges, water systems, freight and passenger rail, public transit, ports and airports, grid security and resiliency, and clean energy programs, among other things. These sectors are reliant on highly engineered metal castings, and much-needed investment will increase demand for components from U.S. foundries.

IIJA also strengthens Buy America preferences for iron, steel, and manufactured products, as well as improving and tightening waiver processes.

“We applaud Congress for passing a comprehensive infrastructure bill which provides targeted, robust funding over five years to modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and water systems,” said AFS CEO Doug Kurkul. “U.S. metalcasters are key suppliers of critical metal castings to the construction, rail, energy, road building, and waterworks sectors, and will play a vital role in supporting these key projects moving forward.”

Infrastructure investment was a key part of AFS’s 2021 legislative agenda and an important component of an AFS message to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. AFS staff worked closely and met with dozens of congressional lawmakers and staff to ensure the metalcasting industry’s legislative priorities – including increased funding for drinking and wastewater systems, roads, bridges, highways, ports and rail; strengthened Buy American preferences for ferrous and nonferrous castings; and the DRIVE-Safe Act – were included in the final package. In addition, AFS submitted comments to the Commerce Department and shared them with lawmakers regarding metalcasting concerns with our nation’s continued dependence on critical minerals, particularly from China, and were strong supporters of provisions to expand efforts to mine, process, reclaim and recycle critical minerals, which also were included in the final package.

Here is an overview of the IIJA investments in the following key areas:

  • Rebuild roads and bridges ($110 billion);
  • improve public transit systems ($39.2 billion);
  • expand passenger rail and cover rail safety ($66 billion);
  • upgrade ports and waterways ($16.6 billion);
  • upgrade airports ($25 billion);
  • invest in broadband infrastructure ($65 billion);
  • fix water systems ($55 billion);
  • modernize the power sector ($65 billion); and
  • improve climate resilience ($47.2 billion).

AFS will host a webinar, “Trade Update – Latest on Buy American & The Biden Administration Trade Agenda,” which will cover the IIJA’s new Buy America provisions, at 1 p.m. (CT) on Nov. 18. Registration is free for members and $250 for non-members. To sign up, click here.

For additional information regarding IIJA, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office, at