In her annual State of the American Business address, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark called on Congress to adopt a legislative agenda that strengthens the United States in five key areas: building, people, energy, global leadership, and the rule of law.
“Business demands better from our government...” Clark said. “The polarization, gridlock, regulatory overreach, and inability to act smartly and strategically for our future is making it harder for all of us to do our jobs and move this country forward.”
Clark outlined several actions Congress and the Biden administration should pursue during 2023, including:
- Pass a permitting reform bill to deliver on the investment made in infrastructure
- Secure the nation’s border, protect Dreamers and increase the number of employment-based visas
- Fix worker shortages by improving access to childcare and incentivizing work
- Accelerate permitting for new American energy exploration and production, finalize a legally required five-year program for offshore leasing and make it easier to build energy infrastructure
- Work in partnership with the private sector to achieve climate resilience through innovation
- Resume free and fair trade negotiations and pursue new deals
- Tackle head-on the challenges with China, while maximizing the benefits America can and must derive from continuing to do business with the world’s second-largest economy in areas consistent with our national security and values
- End lawsuit abuse by going after litigation funders
- Enact policy changes to help law enforcement and prosecutors make communities safe and fight organized retail crime.
Just as important as the actions Congress and the Biden administration should take are those they should stop pursuing, Clark said. “The unprecedented regulatory overreach has accelerated over the past two years,” she said in the address. “When I gave this speech last year, I pledged that if government didn’t stop getting in the way through overregulation, we would lead the fight to stop it. And that’s why the chamber sued the FTC, the SEC and the CFPB last year. And we won’t hesitate to do it again if that’s what’s needed to protect business interests, preserve innovation and competition, and position our economy for growth.
“Our message to our partners in government today is very simple,” Clark continued. “Do your jobs, so we can do ours. Make government work, so businesses can keep working … so companies of all sizes can keep doing the things that society needs, expects, and trusts us to do. America is a great and capable nation, and together, we can do the big thinking and take the smart steps to secure the future we deserve and strengthen this country that we all love.”