The U.S. economy continues to underperform relative to its potential at great cost to workers, businesses and taxpayers. While America’s leaders continue to totter from confrontation to crisis, economic growth remains stubbornly low, unemployment remains unacceptably high and wages remain stagnant for the vast majority of Americans. The CEOs of the Business Roundtable are deeply invested in America’s success. We understand that when America succeeds, our companies succeed. We believe that realizing the economy’s full potential should be the nation’s top priority. And we believe that fully unlocking economic growth and job creation will require policymakers to rededicate themselves to a singular purpose: restoring America’s status as the most attractive destination for investment.
America’s doors have traditionally remained open to the investment that it needs to realize its full economic potential. But something has changed in recent years. America’s public policies have become increasingly inhospitable to those who are willing to contribute to building a stronger economy. Our fiscal outlook has significantly worsened, reducing the predictability that taxpayers and businesses need to make long‐term investment decisions. Our corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world, discouraging businesses from locating and hiring here at home. Our trade agenda is being affected by failure to pass updated Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, stifling efforts to complete trade agreements and expand U.S. trade and investment opportunities abroad. And our immigration policy has failed to keep pace with the demands of a modern global economy, threatening America’s ability to attract the world‐class talent that it needs to remain an open, innovative and competitive economy.
Solutions to these problems are possible if there is the will to act. Policymakers can reopen America’s doors to the investment needed to drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. To succeed, it is critical that our elected leaders focus their efforts. Priority should be placed on those measures that are meaningful, urgent and ripe for action. Accordingly, the Business Roundtable calls on policymakers to take immediate action on four priorities:
- Restore Fiscal Stability: Policymakers should adopt a more strategic approach to budget and fiscal policy, including measures that strengthen the nation’s health care and retirement system. Furthermore, it is critical that budget, borrowing and fiscal decisions be made in a timely manner to avoid government by crisis.
- Enact Comprehensive Tax Reform: Policymakers should adopt a competitive, pro‐growth tax framework that promotes economic expansion, levels the playing field for U.S. companies competing in global markets and strengthens their supply chains at home.
- Expand U.S. Trade and Investment Opportunities: Policymakers should take action to expand U.S. trade and investment opportunities abroad by passing updated TPA legislation and aggressively pursuing a range of trade agreements.
- Repair America’s Broken Immigration System: Policymakers should enhance the U.S. workforce and address border security concerns by implementing balanced, sensible immigration reform.
By adopting this four‐point plan, our nation’s leaders can lay the groundwork for a strong, balanced and sustained economic recovery. It is time to end the era of governing by crisis. It is time to rebuild a sense of confidence, predictability and optimism among consumers and businesses. It is time for Washington to join the business community in investing in America’s success.