S&P Global CEO Doug Peterson: U.S. Needs Infrastructure With Strong Dose of Tech, Efficiency

The U.S. economy would benefit from an infrastructure revamp bolstered by technology, Doug Peterson, CEO of financial information provider S&P Global, told Bloomberg Law.

“We can modernize our infrastructure to make it more tech-oriented,” Peterson said in a video interview. “We can also make it safer.”

President Trump and both political parties are interested in a national infrastructure upgrade. But policymakers diverge on how to pay for the costly makeover of roads, bridges, airports, and other systems.

“You would expect that we’d have a bipartisan approach to infrastructure,” Peterson said. “But infrastructure right now is going through a political process, which is complicated.”

User fees, a potential gas tax increase, and private sector investment, or some combination of those measures could help fund infrastructure, Peterson said. States and cities could raise taxes to fund some projects, he added.

Trump’s infrastructure plan proposes to spend about $200 billion in federal funds over the next decade in a bid to spur billions of dollars in spending by states, cities, and the private sector, with a goal of about $1.5 trillion in total infrastructure investment.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are in discussions to advance legislation that would speed up investment. Last week, five Cabinet officials – the secretaries of transportation, commerce, labor, agriculture, and energy – testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Peterson also touted S&P Global’s expansion into artificial intelligence. The company recently said it plans to buy Kensho Technologies Inc., an analytics and artificial intelligence company. S&P Global has “been a data company before we called it a data company,” Peterson said. “Increasingly, we have to have more and more technology embedded in everything we do.”