Momentum for America | Business Roundtable

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    Betsy Andres
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LeAnne Redick Wilson
Senior Vice President
​lwilson@brt.org

    

What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

Momentum for America

Solutions to Create Jobs and Grow the U.S. Economy

Business Roundtable members believe in the American economy and the American worker. Our nation has powerful advantages, including a talented and creative workforce, tremendous natural resources and a culture that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship. However, despite progress since the end of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy continues to perform well below expectations. Unemployment is down, but the workforce participation rate is at a 35 year low. The United States needs government policies that help, not hinder, companies to create more, better-paying jobs. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is growing too slowly – we need policies that will spur economic growth and vitality. The U.S. economy lacks momentum.

In 2016, Business Roundtable will focus on policies that lead to job creation and economic growth – national priorities that are inextricably linked. Our priorities reflect our collective business experience as CEOs of America’s leading companies, experience that tells us what it takes to build momentum for the United States in 2016 and beyond.

Increase Competitiveness

We will build momentum in the U.S. economy by increasing U.S. global competitiveness through a more modern business tax system. The U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest of the world’s industrialized nations, and America is the only G7 country with a worldwide tax system on foreign earnings.

This outdated system creates a constant drag on the economy. American companies and their employees are severely disadvantaged in the world marketplace. Experts estimate that as much as 75 percent of the corporate tax burden is borne by workers, in the form of lower wages and productivity.

Solution

Modernize the U.S. Tax System

Both Democrats and Republicans agree that America needs a modern tax system. Key components of business tax reform include: Setting the corporate tax rate at 25 percent; adopting a modern international tax system; and making U.S. tax policy permanent.

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Open and Expand Markets

Expanding international trade is essential to higher economic growth and creating new jobs. International trade currently supports 41 million American jobs – that's more than 20 percent of all American jobs – and exports account for 13.5 percent of U.S. GDP. Moreover, across the U.S. economy, jobs in export-dependent industries pay about 16 percent more than jobs in less export-intensive industries.

History shows that trade and U.S. trade agreements expand U.S. economic growth and support well-paying jobs for millions of Americans. Given that 96 percent of the world’s population lives outside the United States, trade agreements open up more markets for U.S. companies to sell their products and services – that increases revenue and creates jobs here at home.

Solution

Expand U.S. Trade Opportunities

Enacting trade agreements – particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in 2016 – will mean even more high-wage U.S. jobs and greater economic growth. In addition to the TPP, we must conclude ongoing negotiations on other trade agreements.

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Create an Environment for Growth

We can also generate economic momentum by creating a business climate more conducive to growth. U.S. business leaders witness firsthand how other world governments enact policies that boost the competitiveness of companies headquartered within their borders. The United States should pursue a similar strategy and surpass these efforts.

To encourage growth, our nation must overcome challenges and allow Americans’ ingenuity and perseverance to thrive. Regulations should meet their goals effectively; smart regulations don’t create unnecessary red tape. Students and workers should have access to high-quality education and training that equips them with the skills needed to succeed in a modern economy. Infrastructure investment should be sustained and increased to help families commute more safely and companies move goods more quickly. A cohesive national energy strategy should include utilizing all of our abundant natural resources.

Solutions

Less Red Tape, More Effective Regulation

Regulations are essential to protect people and the environment. But to be successful, regulations must achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.

Fiscal Stability

Congress should pass annual budgets and appropriate funds on time to keep our government running; follow an orderly process for required borrowing; and strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare.

National Energy Strategy

The United States has reemerged as a global energy powerhouse. A cohesive national energy strategy should include utilizing all of our abundant natural resources.

Infrastructure Investment

The current state of U.S. infrastructure lags behind many other developed countries. America needs to increase investment in infrastructure projects, modernize funding and governance of our transportation systems.

Educated and Skilled Workforce

America depends on a world-class workforce to compete globally. Business Roundtable is committed to ensuring all Americans are prepared to work and able to adapt for their entire career.