Business community outlines State of the Union wishlist
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pro-business lobbying group, said the business community hopes to hear about America’s resolve to stand against Russia and a policy agenda to ease economic burdens when President Biden delivers the State of the Union.
Chamber CEO Suzanne Clark said the address, set to be delivered on Tuesday evening, is a uniquely important one.
“In a typical year, some might dismiss the annual address as political theater or Washington rhetoric. But this is a moment when our democracy can and must serve as a powerful model for a world that craves freedom. This is a moment for American leadership in support of democracy, free enterprise, and the rule of law. And it is an opportunity for the president to assert an agenda that will make us stronger at home and abroad,” she said in a statement.
Clark said the business community wants Biden to discuss standing strong with allies against authoritarianism and aggression by Russia and other nations, adding the Chamber stands with the people of Ukraine and supports the administration’s response to Russia’s invasion.
She also said members want to hear about business and government working together to address rising inflation, the worker shortage crisis, supply chain disruptions and soaring energy costs.
The White House said on Monday that Biden will discuss inflation during Tuesday’s address and will announce a new four-piece plan to tackle rising prices. He is also expected to speak about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions the U.S. and allies have imposed on Moscow.
Clark said the business community wants to hear about energy policies that strengthen U.S. energy security and help allies and partners reduce their dependence of Russia’s oil and natural gas.
And, they want to hear about the role of the private sector in creating opportunity for people, driving prosperity and leading innovation, as opposed to a big government agenda.
“A big government agenda—marked by higher taxes, inflationary spending, overreach, and overregulation—will sap the innovation, competition, and dynamism in our economy needed to move our country forward,” Clark said.
Additionally, they want to hear a “bold trade agenda” that aims to strengthen the U.S. engagement and leadership in the global economy.
“While our competitors race ahead on trade, the U.S. is standing still. We need more mutually beneficial trade agreements to boost our economy and strengthen strategic alliances,” Clark said.
She noted that the business community won’t always agree with Biden but they aim to build relationships, get involved in the political process and provide advice and ideas. The Chamber is traditionally a Republican-leaning association.
Clark outlined the outlets the business community can use to push back on government overreach, but emphasized coordination between the public and private sector.
“If we need to, we can use the third branch of government, the courts system, to constrain government overreach. And we can lift our megaphone and raise the collective voice of business in the public debate,” she said. “The state of the union is strong when the state of American business is strong—and when we are a clear voice and a strong model for freedom and free enterprise in the world.”