President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
April 25, 2022
This month marks 110 years that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has advocated on behalf of the American business community. Through the challenges of world wars, worldwide pandemics, and everything in between, the Chamber has served our members—and our country—in pursuit of a better tomorrow.
As we celebrate this historic milestone for our organization, we do so with our sights set solely on the future and the policies our members need to propel our country and world toward growth, solutions, and opportunity.
Here are some of the business community’s top priorities right now—and how the Chamber is advocating on our members’ behalf:
1. Preserving Competition in our Economy
In the administration and in Congress, some politicians are advocating for a new regulatory and antitrust approach that would fundamentally reshape our free-market system. The business community knows that competition is how we build our country, make it exceptional, and move it forward—and we will do everything in our power to stop a government-knows-best approach to picking winners and losers in our economy.
2. Embracing All-of-the-Above Energy Policies
The crisis in Eastern Europe is a global wake-up call for energy resilience—and a stark reminder of the consequences of slowing domestic energy production. Our leaders must start thinking about energy policy not as a binary choice between fossil fuel production and climate mitigation—but rather in the context of energy security and energy transition. We can and must increase domestic energy production now and make the investments necessary to reduce emissions and decarbonize our economy for the future.
3. Avoiding Misguided Inflation-Fueling Spending
Inflation is at a 40-year high, and Americans are feeling the impact on gas, food, home prices and more. The last thing we need are investment-killing and inflation-fueling policies from Washington. The business community and pro-business advocates in Congress were successful in defeating the reckless multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spend reconciliation effort at the end of 2021—and are committed to defeating it all over again if there are attempts to revive it this year.
4. Solving the Worker Shortage
A strong economy requires capital and people—and right now we don’t have enough people. We need lawmakers to get serious about achievable policy solutions to address the worker shortage and fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, including doubling the number of visas for legal immigrants, removing barriers to work, and training more Americans for in-demand careers.
5. Pursuing a Bold Trade Agenda
On trade, standing still means falling behind—and right now we’re falling behind. While other economies race to ink new deals, the U.S. has not entered an agreement with a new trade partner in a decade. The EU has 46 trade agreements with 78 countries. The U.S. has just 14 trade agreements with 20 countries—and the trend for our tariffs has been up, not down. Meanwhile, China continues to rise as a formidable commercial and strategic competitor. Our answer to China used to be the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-country trade pact in the Asia-Pacific. But the U.S. has pulled out, and now it’s the UK, Korea, Taiwan and China trying to join while we stand on the outside looking in. The administration must commit to opening new markets so American businesses can reach the 95% of customers beyond our shores.
6. Enabling the Next 110 Years of Business Leadership
Government can’t do what business does. It can’t create wealth or prosperity—it can only redistribute them. But government can create the conditions for businesses to succeed, grow, and move our nation forward.
For the Chamber’s milestone anniversary, we are calling on our policymakers to find common ground, seek solutions, and enact durable policies that allow businesses to shape a new economic era that will define our future.
About the authors
Suzanne P. Clark
As President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark heads strategy, government relations and market innovation to support member companies and businesses.