WASHINGTON — In the annual State of American Business address given earlier this month, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark urged government to reject partisan gridlock, pursue an actionable agenda to strengthen America, and give businesses the best opportunity to succeed.
“Business demands better from our government because when it comes to Washington, the state of American business is fed up,” Clark says. “The polarization, gridlock, regulatory overreach, and inability to act smartly and strategically for our future is making it harder for all of us to do our jobs and move this country forward.”
Clark says that business owners and workers need more from their government than what they have been getting.
“We need a government that works,” she says. “A government that rejects gridlock and chooses governing. A government that can partner with the private sector on our biggest challenges and can engage globally to advance America’s interests, and the world’s. A government that limits itself to the work only it can do — no more and no less.”
Agenda for American Strength
During her address, Clark outlined an agenda to strengthen our country in five key areas: building, people, energy, global leadership, and the rule of law. She stressed that progress can be made on national priorities immediately through practical, actionable steps, and highlighted the following key actions that Congress and the Administration should pursue this year:
- Pass a permitting reform bill to deliver on the investment made in infrastructure;
- Secure our nation’s border, protect Dreamers, and increase the number of employment-based visas;
- Fix worker shortages by improving access to childcare and incentivizing work;
- Accelerate permitting for new American energy exploration and production, finalize a legally required 5-year program for offshore leasing, and make it easier to build energy infrastructure;
- Work in partnership with the private sector to achieve climate resilience through innovation;
- Resume free and fair-trade negotiations and pursue new deals;
- Tackle head-on the challenges with China, while maximizing the benefits America can and must derive from continuing to do business with the world’s second-largest economy in areas consistent with our national security and values;
- End lawsuit abuse by going after litigation funders; and
- Enact policy changes to help law enforcement and prosecutors make our communities safe and fight organized retail crime.
Clark added that it’s also important for lawmakers to stop instituting a government-knows-best approach that burdens American businesses with overregulation and micromanages our economy.
This agenda, Clark says, will “help us not only navigate the present moment but also steer our country to the brighter, stronger future that we expect — and future generations deserve.”
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