President Obama was generous with his time this evening at the Newseum, spending well over an hour with more than 90 CEO-members of Business Roundtable. He began with remarks on the record, covered by a White House press pool, followed by a lengthy, closed-door discussion with the chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies. BRT Chairman W. James McNerney, Boeing's president and CEO, moderated.
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama told business leaders Tuesday that the nation needs to reform its tax system to help boost the economy, saying the American people “instinctually understand” that the U.S. needs a more balanced approach to solve its economic problems.
ABC News (blog), "Obama Pitches Economic Agenda To Business Leaders":
The president said the nation needs to reform its tax system to better reward companies that invest in the U.S. “That is going to be a difficult task. Anybody who has been involved in tax discussions in any legislature, but especially Congress, knows that it’s like pulling teeth. But it is the right thing to do for us to become more competitive,” he said.
Obama reminded his audience of close to 100 corporate bosses that during the 2008 global financial crisis, the Eximbank was the only source of trade finance left, and said that it performed a vital mission at no cost to U.S. taxpayers.
"It is an indispensable resource for our exporters, especially since many of your competitors are getting aggressive finance from their governments," Obama said. "So I'm asking your help in making sure Congress does the right thing."
Thanks for mentioning the Volcker Rule, Reuters.
Politico, "Obama pitches CEOs on economic growth, gets lukewarm reception," a tendentious headline.
The gathering of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs, drew roughly 100 chief executives. But while there was polite applause when Obama was introduced, the pool report noted, “the CEOs sat silent for most of his remarks.”
Obama was introduced by Roundtable Chairman Jim McNerney, who said the group looked forward to a "candid, productive, private" discussion with the president following his remarks.
Sat silent? Yes, the CEOs were listening to the President. Should they have chatted, cheered, pounded on the table? The atmosphere was not lukewarm, it was cordial and professional.
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