From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Today’s Top Take
Daily intelligence brief directly from Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley
Tomorrow, we expect the House to pass and the President to sign into law the Phase 3 coronavirus relief package. With his signature, the race will be on to implementation. At the Chamber we will be focused on two critical next steps:
- For America’s small businesses – including the self-employed and independent contractors – the most important thing to be on the lookout for are announcements regarding which lenders will be authorized to lend the new Small Business Paycheck Protection Loans.
- For larger employers, we will be on the lookout for an announcement out of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department regarding the new credit facilities that are likely to be set up to support lending to businesses.
We will provide U.S. Chamber members with real-time information on these developments as they occur.
In addition, the conversation will also quickly turn to the next legislative package. The 880-page Phase 3 package includes almost everything Republicans and Democrats could easily come to agreement on. Given that it is not at all clear what major provisions would drive the next package, we shouldn’t assume a Phase 4 package is guaranteed. Another reason to be is that cautious, we are already seeing lawmakers add to their Phase 4 priority list policies that they were advocating long before anyone had heard of the coronavirus, but for which they couldn’t garner bipartisan support. As the Chamber, we will remain laser-focused on policies that can improve the current crisis and make sure needed legislation doesn’t become a vehicle for anti-business, anti-American enterprise policy.
CHAMBER IN ACTION
The latest news, actions, and announcements from the U.S. Chamber
- Early this morning the Senate passed the coronavirus relief bill. U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley joined Bloomberg Radio today to discuss how it will help businesses recover. “We believe that this is a sufficient size to stabilize the liquidity crisis that we have in American businesses today,” Bradley said. “We had a strong economy when we began this year, and the fundamentals remain there, and if we can simply bridge this period where businesses don’t have any revenue and can resume normal operations when public health officials tell us that it’s okay to do so, I think we’ll be in a good position.”
- International cooperation is as important as ever. Today, the U.S. Chamber hosted a call with American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) from over 40 countries. “Business is critical in dealing with the coronavirus,” U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant said. “We have to be a participant in encouraging policies that demonstrate innovation and assist the private sector's efforts to get critical medical equipment and supplies to market.”
- The U.S. Chamber today released the Transatlantic Economy 2020 report, illustrating the importance of continued cooperation between the United States and the European Union, especially in this time of crisis. The report finds the transatlantic economy supports 16 million jobs and generates more than $5.6 trillion in commercial sales a year.
“America’s economic relationship with Europe is a key driver of our shared prosperity,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President for European Affairs Marjorie Chorlins. “We face a global emergency as impacts of the coronavirus are felt by businesses, workers, and the global economy overall. Increased tariffs on medical supplies or ‘buy American’ requirements which interrupt the supply chain could hinder trade and investment flows and need to be avoided.”
Daily update on the economic impact and new data directly from U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Curtis Dubay
We knew that today’s unemployment insurance claims number was going to be large. But even though we expected it to be big, I don’t think anyone was anticipating it was going to be this big. New unemployment insurance claims for the week ending March 21 were 3.3 million.
For reference, claims for the week ending March 14 were 282,000. So this week’s increase was 3.1 million.
Previously, the highest number of claims ever recorded in one week was 695,000 in October of 1982. This week’s claims were almost 500% bigger. We are in unchartered territory for sure.
The surprisingly large number is causing some to revise down even further their estimates for the economy’s contraction in the second quarter (which hasn’t even started yet).
For instance, JP Morgan just updated their forecast for the second quarter to -25%. Capital Economics had already called for -40%. Truly astonishing.
It’s hard to believe but next week’s unemployment claims could be even larger. Restricting commerce to fight COVID-19 has resulted in severe economic pain. And that is why federal policy action to support families and businesses during this period is so critical.
SPECIAL REPORT: WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING
The White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing this evening. Here are a few key takeaways:
- Earlier today, President Trump spoke virtually with G20 leaders. The U.S. is working with them to coordinate responses to the virus, and they discussed the importance of information and data sharing.
- President Trump also spoke with the nation’s governors this morning. He highlighted some provisions in the Phase 3 package, including SBA loans, loan forgiveness, direct cash payments for those earning less than $99,000 per year, and expanded unemployment benefits.
- The resident also noted he sent a letter to governors on Thursday that his administration is working to publish new guidelines for state and local governments to use when making decisions about maintaining, increasing, or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures for the epidemic.
GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
We will update and add to the links below as new guidance and resources become available
For more info, please visit the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses page.
WE ARE WITH YOU.
And we will get through this together. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping you respond to the coronavirus so you can support your employees, customers, members, and communities. We will continue working every day to help you weather this storm and emerge even stronger—just as we have at other challenging times in our nation’s history.
Visit uschamber.com/Coronavirus for more information.
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