Achieving America’s Full Potential Business Roundtable's 2015 Priorities | Business Roundtable


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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.

Achieving America’s Full Potential
Business Roundtable's 2015 Priorities

The members of Business Roundtable – who are the chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies – support policies that drive economic growth and prosperity, encourage increased American investment, and create jobs and higher wages for middle-class families.

We urge policymakers to act on the following priorities in 2015 to strengthen the economy and create greater opportunity for all Americans.

Maintain Fiscal Stability

America needs long-term fiscal stability solutions that create the right conditions for sustained business investment, economic growth and job creation.

Congress and the Administration must work together to:

  • Address the debt limit in a timely manner;

  • Pass annual budgets on time and appropriate funds early enough to avoid disruptions to government operations;

  • Constrain federal spending by reducing long-term spending growth rather than imposing abrupt and arbitrary reductions in near-term outlays; and

  • Strengthen Medicare and Social Security by gradually increasing the eligibility age for full benefits, updating the method of computing cost-of-living adjustments, implementing means testing for higher-income recipients and expanding competitive models of care within Medicare.

Enact Pro-Growth Tax Reform

Business tax reform must result in a modern tax system with competitive rates and competitive international tax rules.

Business tax reform may be the single most effective means of accelerating business investment, boosting job creation and providing greater opportunity for America’s working families.  

Congress and the Administration must work together to modernize the U.S. tax code with permanent, pro‐growth business tax reform that:

  • Sets the corporate tax rate at 25 percent; and

  • Allows U.S. companies and workers to win in the global marketplace by adopting a modern international tax system (“territorial-type” tax system) that ends the double taxation of U.S. corporations’ foreign earnings.

Expand U.S. Trade

With more than one in five American jobs supported by trade and 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, expanding U.S. trade opportunities is critical.

Policies to expand U.S. trade include:

  • Congress and the Administration should work together to enact updated Trade Promotion Authority legislation as soon as possible;

  • The Administration should aggressively pursue and secure high-quality results in trade and investment negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Trade in Services Agreement, expanded World Trade Organization Information Technology Agreement, and U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty talks with China and India;

  • Congress and the Administration should enact a multi-year reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to help U.S. companies compete for sales abroad and support the U.S. jobs that depend on those sales; and

  • The Administration should continue to implement reforms to outdated U.S. export controls.

Enact Immigration Reform

Immigration reform, done right, will help keep America secure and is essential for a healthier economy – accelerating growth, encouraging hiring and creating American jobs.

Congress and the Administration should:

  • Enact reforms that welcome legal immigrant workers, including increasing visas for higher-skilled workers and establishing a new system for lower-skilled workers;

  • Find a solution for undocumented immigrants that integrates them into our society, including allowing those already residing in the United States to earn a legal status; and

  • Improve the technological capability to enforce U.S. immigration laws, ranging from increased resources for border security to an E-Verify system for all U.S. employers.

Invest in Physical and Digital Infrastructure

America relies on a platform of digital and physical infrastructure that facilitates the movement of people, information, physical goods and financial assets that drives economic activity.

To protect these vital assets, Congress and the Administration should:

  • Adopt policies that develop and maintain a world-class infrastructure for the United States, including by providing consistent and reliable funding streams to support key infrastructure projects and by enacting policies that better enable the private sector to invest in certain infrastructure projects; and

  • Adopt policies to more effectively counter escalating cybersecurity threats.

Adopt a Smarter Approach to Regulation

Business Roundtable supports smart regulatory policies that will ensure American businesses retain the capacity to operate and innovate, while promoting the health and welfare of employees, customers and communities.

For a smarter approach to regulation, Congress and the Administration should:

  • Enact the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), which would modernize the 70-year-old Administrative Procedure Act. The RAA would require objective cost-benefit analyses for every major rule, including those issued by independent agencies.
  • Provide greater certainty for business planning by requiring public transparency about all future regulations. The Administration’s Regulatory Agenda should be updated in real time to provide this information.
  • Require each agency to issue a notice of initiation for every new regulation and put this information online. This will ensure that regulatory agencies engage with stakeholders early, allowing greater public input before regulators draft a proposed rule.
  • Streamline the federal permitting process for all major infrastructure projects, in accordance with the recommendations of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Currently, delays in federal approvals keep many worthwhile projects in limbo, impairing business investment and risking job creation.  

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