Biden and Kishida Likely to Discuss Texas High-Speed Train Project

President Joe Biden aims to renew interest in a proposal to construct the United States’ first high-speed rail using Japanese bullet trains. Sources suggest he will likely bring up the project during discussions with Japan’s prime minister in Washington this week.

The leaders may express support for the multi-billion-dollar Texas project after their talks, focusing on bolstering security and economic ties between the two nations. The plan to connect Dallas and Houston via high-speed rail is expected to be a key topic, according to sources familiar with summit preparations.

While the project may be mentioned in joint statements following the talks, officials caution that final agreements could evolve before the visit concludes. Japan’s foreign ministry and the White House declined to comment on the matter.

Despite receiving funds from the Department of Transportation, the project, estimated at $25 to $30 billion, still faces hurdles in Texas and Congress. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has endorsed the initiative, emphasizing its potential benefits.

Proposals for high-speed rail in the United States have historically faced challenges, including political disputes, land ownership issues, and escalating costs. The Houston-Dallas train, a long-discussed endeavor, has encountered obstacles in the past.

Advocates of the project believe that support from Biden and Kishida could attract private investors, advancing the initiative. The rail link, covering 240 miles and operated by Texas Central Partners and Amtrak, promises to significantly reduce travel time between the cities.

Japanese state lenders have contributed loans for the project, which seeks to incorporate bullet train technology from Japan. Progress on the Texas high-speed train aligns with Biden’s environmental and infrastructure goals but may encounter opposition from certain lawmakers.

The potential endorsement of the project comes amid Biden’s opposition to Nippon Steel’s acquisition of U.S. Steel Corp. As Biden prepares for the upcoming presidential election, infrastructure projects remain a cornerstone of his agenda, aimed at stimulating job growth and addressing inflation concerns.

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