March 08, 2012
Taking Action for America
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America faces many challenges as we work together to restore the promise of economic growth and security for our country, our families and the American worker. The CEOs of leading U.S. companies believe in America and our ability to once again meet this challenge. This belief in the inherent strengths of the United States and its people enables them to see beyond America’s short-term difficulties to the brighter future that lies ahead. That future directly hinges on America’s ability to lead globally, make optimal use of its impressive advantages, and always remember that its greatest asset is American workers and their families. It is with this enduring faith that the CEOs of Business Roundtable (BRT) confront the current challenges facing the United States.
The challenges are both real and serious. Despite hopeful signs of economic recovery, America remains mired in the deepest jobs crisis since the 1930s. One out of every 12 Americans who are willing and able to work cannot find a job. Approximately 13 million Americans remain unemployed. Frustrated and discouraged, millions more have simply given up looking for work altogether. To be sure, the severe job losses experienced during the depths of the 2007–09 recession have ended, and the unemployment rate fell from 9.4 percent in December 2010 to 8.5 percent in December 2011. But vigorous and sustained job creation has not returned at the level required to put America back to work, and the numbers of long-term unemployed remain at record levels.
We, the CEOs of Business Roundtable have a plan to revitalize U.S. economic growth and job creation. We believe that America’s business leaders have an obligation to bring their real-world experience on economic matters to public policy, especially in a time of widespread joblessness and economic distress. Job creation depends on economic growth, which cannot occur unless businesses are free to innovate, invest and grow. Taking Action for America is a comprehensive plan to jump-start new business investment and knock down barriers to economic growth. It includes pragmatic, actionable recommendations organized into three broad categories (all links are PDF downloads):
- American Global Leadership, which must be secured through sound fiscal policy, smarter regulation and competitive taxation.
- American Advantages, which depend on open markets for international trade and investment; reliable, affordable energy, protecting U.S. technology assets with effective cybersecurity and contributions of highly educated world talent.
- American Workers and Families, who deserve policies that promote a skilled, prepared workforce; affordable, quality health care and stable policies that ensure retirement security.
- Our one-page overview of the plan
- A document outlining all of our proposed solutions for revitalizing U.S. job and economic growth.
- A list of key regulations that we have pinpointed to help address the need for smarter regulation.
- Our advertisement in print publications in Tampa and Charlotte during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions urges Washington to act to solve our nation's challenges.
You can view Taking Action for America in its entirety below, or by downloading the PDF.
Watch video from the Taking Action for America launch event:
Read coverage of Taking Action for America:
See what leaders in Washington and in the business community are saying about Taking Action for America:
Business Roundtable CEOs consistently cite rising medical care costs as their number-one cost pressure. These costs are inhibiting job creation and damaging our ability to compete in global markets. Medical care costs are also putting a strain on the household budgets of many Americans.John Engler,
President, Business Roundtable
Open markets are essential for U.S. economic growth and job creation, and international trade and investment agreements are critical tools to open markets and keep them open.Douglas R. Oberhelman,
Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc.
'Taking Action for America’ is the right plan at the right time. America’s business leaders have detailed a jobs and growth strategy that will benefit American workers. I call on my colleagues to work with me, the Business Roundtable and all stakeholders to act this year.
Congressman Heath Shuler
Representative from the 11th District of North Carolina
Regulations are beneficial only when they’re clear, consistent and wise. And, in large part, the U.S. regulatory regime is so complex and inconsistent that regulations hinder American manufacturers without helping anyone in particular.Andrew N. Liveris,
Chairman & CEO, Dow Chemical Company, The
There are jobs today that are open because we don’t have the skilled workforce here. If we want to continue to create economic growth we have to fill those jobs with the best and the brightest no matter where they come from.Ellen J. Kullman,
Chair and Chief Executive Officer , DuPont
A high-quality education, especially in math, science, technology, and engineering, is critical for the ability of countries to successfully compete and prosper in the 21st century.Rex W. Tillerson,
Chairman & CEO, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Safeguarding America’s strategic information systems, most of which are privately owned and operated, is ‘mission critical’ for U.S. business and government.Ajay Banga,
President and CEO, MasterCard
American companies seeking to expand in markets at home and abroad are working with one of the least competitive tax systems among developed countries in the world.Robert A. McDonald,
Chairman, President and CEO, Procter & Gamble Company, The
Pension policy must provide employers with the certainty that will allow them to make new capital investments, to hire new employees, and to make R&D investments.Larry D. Zimpleman,
Chairman, President & CEO, Principal Financial Group, Inc.
I applaud the Business Roundtable for rolling out a serious blueprint for job creation and economic growth. I look forward to working with the BRT on tax reform and modernizing our regulatory system to spark a true American jobs recovery.
Senator Rob Portman