A Nation at Risk?
November 17, 2010
Delivering a post-election address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors today, Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the Chamber, vowed to lead the business community in working with the administration and Congress toward advancing a specific set of recommendations that are essential to expand the U.S. economy, compete in the world, and create American jobs.
Calling America a “nation at risk,” Donohue said the Chamber will expand on its agenda to lead efforts to advance sound trade and energy policies, stem the rising tide of regulations, address our faltering schools, modernize our crumbling infrastructure, and reign in skyrocketing deficits.
“We’re prepared to join with President Obama, his administration, and both parties in Congress to achieve these goals,” Donohue said in an open press speech at the Chamber’s bi-annual board meeting. “Our economy is simply not expanding fast enough to reduce unemployment and create 20 million jobs. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to act. We’ve been diagnosing our problems for years. How about some treatment?”
Donohue proceeded to outline eight key areas of focus for the Chamber going forward:
• Supporting sensible regulations?The Chamber is adding resources, including a regulatory economist and greater activism in our two legal organizations, to support sensible regulations and oppose regulations that unnecessarily stifle job creation
• Doubling exports?Launching a major education and advocacy initiative to change the debate on trade, highlighting the benefits, opportunities, and competitive realities to expanding trade.
• Addressing the debt crisis?Undertaking an “economic risk assessment” to identify threats and vulnerabilities to the explosion of government debt, and act on these risks through tax and entitlement reform and deficit reduction measures.
• Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure?The Chamber is releasing a series of annual performance indexes covering the major components of our nation’s infrastructure – transportation, energy, water, and broadband – to document our needs and build the case for investments.
• Creating an innovation society?By launching the U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, the Chamber will drive serious education and worker training reform, expand corporate social responsibility across the globe, and preserve, protect, and advance the free enterprise system.
• Empowering small businesses?For small business leaders’ voices to be heard, the Chamber will leverage its federation to establish a team of small business advocates who will travel the country and speak to organizations and the media on the challenges facing entrepreneurs.
“We can help our nation solve its problems—beginning with the overriding challenge of putting America back to work,” Donohue said.
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