Momentum for America | Business Roundtable


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    Washington, D.C. 20001
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    Betsy Andres
    Senior Director

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LeAnne Redick Wilson
Senior Vice President


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

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

Our nation’s failure to modernize the U.S. tax code continues to hamstring our economy on many fronts, and the economic cost is severe. For instance, it is estimated that the U.S. corporate tax rate, which is the highest among industrialized countries, has led to the loss of 1,300 U.S. companies through foreign acquisitions over the past decade.

This outdated system creates a constant drag on the economy.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.


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 & 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.

Today, more than 95 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of its purchasing power live outside the United States. U.S. trade agreements break down foreign barriers and set strong, enforceable rules for free and fair trade, helping U.S. companies, farmers and workers sell more goods and services to these customers.


Negotiate & Implement High-Quality Trade Agreements

There are ample opportunities to leverage trade agreements to fuel future growth.

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.

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Train Our World-Class Workforce

The American economy thrives when U.S. workers have the levels of education and training to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, according to a Business Roundtable/Change the Equation survey, 98 percent of CEOs report that finding candidates with the competencies and training to fill open positions is a problem, affecting all skill levels needed — from entry to the most highly technical.

A Georgetown study projects that by 2020, nearly two out of every three U.S. jobs will require some postsecondary education and training. But to reach that goal, our education and training system must produce an additional 2 million high-quality postsecondary credential-holders each year over current levels. This increase will require strengthening our K–12 education system to better prepare students for postsecondary study and broadening education pathways for our youth and working adults.


Build a Highly Educated & Trained Workforce

Future U.S. economic growth increasingly depends on the availability of highly skilled job candidates, especially in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Business Roundtable is committed to ensuring all Americans are prepared to work and able to adapt for their entire career.

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Strengthen the Foundation of the U.S. Economy

Infrastructure is the foundation upon which the U.S. economy is built, and that foundation is crumbling. For example, 55 million tons of freight are shipped across the United States every day. In the wake of a strong public commitment to investing in world-class physical infrastructure in the mid-20th century, public investment in these systems has tapered off or flat-lined, while demand for high-performing, high-capacity infrastructure has only grown.

To ensure robust economic growth and create more high-paying jobs, the United States must invest more in this critical asset — one that enables business and commerce across the country.


Rebuild the Nation’s Infrastructure

Building infrastructure supports long-term economic growth and creates jobs. To provide the boost the American economy needs, creative mechanisms for increasing public and private infrastructure investment are needed.

America needs to increase investment in infrastructure projects, modernize funding and governance of our transportation systems.

Ensure that Regulations are Smart & Effective

Americans want and deserve a clean environment, safe workplaces where they are treated fairly and without discrimination, high-quality and affordable health care, and protection from unscrupulous or predatory business practices. Despite the strong case for regulation generally, rules that do not take into account costs and benefits and do not use sound science have a clear economic impact, including the loss of existing jobs and reduced potential for future job creation. In fact, the cumulative burden stemming from thousands of new federal regulations each year has serious effects on U.S. consumers and businesses.

Regulators must remain mindful of the existing regulatory burden and avoid imposing new rules that harm the economy, destroy jobs, and discourage investment and innovation. “Smart regulation” is the key to achieving the goals we all share while also encouraging businesses to do what they do best: spur investment, foster innovation and create jobs.


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.