CEOs Offer Plan to Revitalize U.S. Economy

March 7, 2012
Call for balanced budget, streamlined federal regulations.

Warning that U.S. competitiveness faces a "serious threat" because of a political system "frozen in gridlock," the Business Roundtable released a plan designed to revitalize U.S. economic growth and job creation.

Called "Taking Action for America: A CEO Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth," BRT says its recommendations are centered around three general principles:

  • American global leadership must be secured through sound fiscal policy, smarter regulation and competitive taxation.
  • American advantages should be better leveraged through open markets for international trade and investment, reliable, affordable energy and protection of U.S. technology assets.
  • American workers and families should be supported with improved education and workforce policies, affordable, quality health care and stable retirement policies that promote economic growth.

The plan we are releasing today outlines a path to achieve these goals through sensible, pro-growth economic policies that will create an environment in which American businesses can compete and grow in 21st century global economy, said Jim McNerney, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing Co., and chairman of Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of major U.S. companies.

Provisions of the plan include:

  • A balanced federal budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, within the next five years.
  • Streamlining the federal regulatory process and withdrawal or modification of each of eight proposed or pending regulations that BRT CEOs have identified as particularly costly and burdensome to business. These include EPA's GHG regulations, hydraulic fracturing, health care taxes and conflict minerals disclosure
  • Adoption of a competitive U.S. corporate tax rate comparable to the OECD average and competitive territorial tax system similar to the rest of the world. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 39.2%, while the rest of the OECD averages 25.1%.
  • Executing a strategy to make U.S. energy systems more diverse, more domestic and more efficient. BRT said the government should continue to support renewable energy technologies but should remain "technology neutral - the government should not be in the business of picking winners or losers."
  • Keeping highly educated foreign students and entrepreneurs in the United States by creating a STEM green card for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields, increasing the standard H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 90,000 and creating an immigrant entrepreneur's visa.
  • Advancing policies to create a world-class workforce to enable Americans to compete and succeed in the world economy. BRT says it supports streamlining federal workforce training programs and establishing partnerships with community colleges to "align technical skills training with business needs and employment opportunities."

"'Taking Action for America' is a plan to revitalize the U.S. economy through policies that encourage innovation and investment and remove barriers to economic growth," said Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co. "While America's political system remains frozen in gridlock, the rest of the world is not standing still. Other nations around the world that compete with the United States for jobs, business investment and export markets are moving forward -- and we must too."

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