Carlyle COO: 'Principles' of Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plans could emerge in a matter of weeks

Key Points
  • Those principles will lay out "the hierarchy of expectations" for an infrastructure bill, Glenn Youngkin says.
  • Airports are the low-hanging fruit for investors looking to capitalize on the expected U.S. infrastructure boom, he says.
Infrastructure is the one bipartisan issue in Washington: Carlyle Group

The White House may be on the verge of starting to fill in the details of President Donald Trump's 10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure plans, the president and COO of private equity giant The Carlyle Group told CNBC on Friday.

"They expect to send principles to the Hill in the next few weeks. And those principles will really lay out what the hierarchy of expectations are for [an] infrastructure bill," Glenn Youngkin said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Then, of course, Congress has to go to work."

"There's one issue that's bipartisan right now and it's infrastructure. It doesn't matter who you speak to in Washington, infrastructure is a very, very common cause," said Youngkin, who's spearheading efforts to attract global money to public-private partnerships on infrastructure at Carlyle, which has $162 billion in assets under management.

The president's budget proposal, expected to be unveiled next week, will include a call for $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years for infrastructure projects, according to Bloomberg, citing a senior Office of Management and Budget official.

The White House budget blueprint would also provide incentives for at least $800 billion of infrastructure investment by the private sector and state and local governments, the official said.

"Infrastructure and spending is long term; it's a steady return; and it matches returns to liabilities almost better than any asset class," Youngkin said, noting interest from sovereign wealth funds and state investment funds in America.

Airports are the low-hanging fruit for investors looking to capitalize on the expected U.S. infrastructure boom, he said. "Airports, right out of the box, is the No. 1 target area right now. Why? Because they're an understood commercial entity. And there are airports starting to move this way."

Case in point, the Transportation Department granted preliminary approval last month to St. Louis to explore putting its city-owned airport under private management. Under a 1996 law, the Federal Aviation Administration can approve up to 10 pilot airport privatization projects.

But the United States is playing catch-up, argued Youngkin. The U.K., Australia and Canada have really run with the idea of public-private partnerships and they're attracting more money than the U.S. for their projects, he said.

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