November 08, 2011
History of Business Roundtable
Related Studies & Resources
Business Roundtable was established in 1972 through the merger of three existing organizations. One was the March Group—made up of chief executive officers—which had been meeting informally to consider public policy issues. John Harper, then Chief Executive of Alcoa, and Fred Borch, then Chief Executive of General Electric, were notable leaders. Another founding group was the Construction Users Anti-Inflation Roundtable, an organization devoted to containing construction costs and headed by Roger M. Blough, then Chief Executive of U.S. Steel. The third was the Labor Law Study Committee, largely composed of labor relations executives of major companies. These groups founded Business Roundtable in the belief that in a pluralistic society, the business sector should play an active and effective role in the formation of public policy.
Business leaders saw a need for an organization in which CEOs of leading enterprises could get together, study issues, try to develop a consensus, formulate positions and advocate those views. Business Roundtable was formed with two major goals: (1) to enable chief executives from different corporations to work together to analyze specific issues affecting the economy and business; and (2) to present government and the public with knowledgeable, timely information and with practical, positive proposals for action.
The executives who created Business Roundtable believed active CEO participation would foster more cooperation and less antagonism between policymakers and the business community and, therefore, promote a healthier U.S. economy, reduce unwarranted intrusion by government into business affairs and better serve the public interest.
The Roundtable, one of the capital’s most influential associations of business leaders, has been frequently tapped by President Barack Obama for advice on policy.The Wall Street Journal