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El gasto en infraestructuras en Estados Unidos alcanza un punto de inflexión tras las elecciones

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Cuando se trata de la política estadounidense, mucho permanece incierto todavía. Un área en la que las elecciones de 2020 parecen suponer un punto de inflexión decisivo es el gasto en infraestructura del país. Por supuesto, las esperanzas de cooperación bipartidista en infraestructura no han dado frutos antes. Aun así, somos cautelosamente optimistas de que las cosas podrían ser diferentes en los próximos cuatro años.

Lo más evidente es que la principal economía del mundo puede ahora apoyar la descarbonización, al volver a sumarse al acuerdo de París sobre el cambio climático. Con Joe Biden, es probable que la próxima administración traiga un enfoque nuevo a la transición energética y el fomento de las renovables. Como resultado, habría más inversiones en redes, almacenamiento de baterías y una mayor promoción de la electrificación del transporte. Los intentos de reducir las emisiones y apoyar una naciente economía de bajo carbono probablemente comenzarán a principios de 2021, en lo que se refiere a medidas reglamentarias. Sin embargo, la mayoría solo se desarrollarán a medio plazo.

Ya hay fuertes fuerzas económicas subyacentes que empujan hacia la descarbonización, como la electricidad renovable. De manera algo independiente a la formulación de políticas, la electrificación del transporte también ha seguido avanzando durante la presidencia de Trump, con la difusión de estaciones de recarga para vehículos eléctricos. En nuestra opinión, es probable que la alineación de políticas a nivel federal refuerce estas tendencias.

Dicho esto, los debates sobre la exploración de petróleo y gas durante las últimas semanas de la campaña presidencial sirven como un recordatorio de que la nueva administración quizás deba tener cuidado. Los combustibles fósiles y el shale en particular siguen siendo importantes motores económicos en Estados clave del campo de batalla, así como para la economía de EE.UU. en su conjunto. La infraestructura existente es fundamental para apoyar el proceso de transición energética en los próximos años. Sin embargo, el grueso del flujo de nuevo capital puede pasar gradualmente a una plataforma de infraestructura más ecológica.

Es probable que el panorama sea similar en otras áreas, reflejando la interacción de consideraciones económicas y políticas a nivel estatal, local y nacional. Por ejemplo, el capital privado ya está fluyendo en torno a las tendencias de digitalización, con inversiones en cables de fibra, centros de datos y redes móviles 5G. La demanda de conectividad y los volúmenes de datos siguen acelerándose, lo que las respalda.

Pero el sector privado solo puede actuar por sí mismo allí donde la economía se suma, y la banda ancha rural ha surgido como un tema clave en muchas carreras para el Congreso y el Senado. El gobierno de Biden haría bien en ponerse en contacto con los republicanos en el Congreso y a nivel estatal, que se presentaron con la promesa de hacer de la banda ancha rural una prioridad.

La infraestructura más tradicional, en particular el transporte, las carreteras, los puentes, los aeropuertos y las redes de abastecimiento de agua, ya experimentaron un fuerte impulso para acelerar el gasto durante la administración saliente. Un área de interés a nivel estatal y local ha sido la infraestructura social, que consiste en la construcción y el mantenimiento de instalaciones que sirven como vertebración de comunidades y sociedades. Es el caso de hospitales, escuelas y universidades, e instalaciones públicas, como las viviendas comunitarias y las prisiones.

En general, vemos una oportunidad decente de obtener suficiente apoyo interpartidario para el gasto en infraestructura, sobre todo como una forma de apoyar la economía y el empleo, de acuerdo con el programa "Build Back Better" de Biden. Pero los cambios llevarán algún tiempo, y el resultado final de cualquier proyecto de ley estará sujeto a compromisos y negociaciones.

Eso nos lleva a un área clave de incertidumbre que aún queda pendiente. El control del Senado está muy dividido y se trata de saber qué medidas (créditos fiscales, capital público o garantías) se utilizarán para impulsar las inversiones en infraestructura. Huelga decir que son precisamente esos detalles los que creemos que determinan la economía de las oportunidades potenciales y que estaremos observando de cerca.

Transacciones históricas de infraestructura

Tradicionalmente, el sector de la energía ha representado la mayor parte de los proyectos y de la corriente de capital hacia las infraestructuras en Estados Unidos, mientras que el transporte y la infraestructura social han estado subdesarrollados.

DWS infraestructuras

 

Tribuna de Gianluca Minella, responsable de análisis de infraestructuras, y Hamish Mackenzie, jefe de infraestructuras en DWS

 

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Acerca de Gianluca Minella

Gianluca Minella es responsable de análisis de infraestructuras en el equipo de alternativos de DWS. Se incorporó a la gestora en 2014.

Acerca de Hamish Mackenzie

Hamish Mackenzie es jefe de infraestructuras en DWS. Se unió a la gestora en el 2000, con 6 años de experiencia en la industria. 

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