Thomas J. Donohue Thomas J. Donohue
Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


January 12, 2018


With a new year under way, it’s a good idea to pause and take stock of where things stand for the American business community—and to set meaningful goals for the year ahead. Last year saw encouraging boosts in economic growth and business optimism. Now, our challenge is to strengthen and sustain that progress while ensuring it’s broadly shared by all Americans. We can do exactly that with the right policies and leadership in Washington.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently laid out its agenda for 2018 at our annual State of American Business event. At the top of the Chamber’s list this year is passing a bipartisan infrastructure modernization bill. We simply cannot build a 21st century economy on 20th century infrastructure.

Another priority is to continue removing or revising job-killing regulations through administrative, legislative, and legal action. Next, to strengthen and sustain growth, we must defend NAFTA and reaffirm American leadership on trade. American workers and companies have nothing to fear and everything to gain from open trade.

Further, as we head into an election year, it is important that we elect members of Congress who are serious about economic growth, believe in free enterprise, and want to govern.

While focusing on these immediate priorities, the Chamber will also lead on the broader challenges facing our country and society.

We’ll ask tough questions: How do we help workers and communities that have been left out of the new economy while helping businesses that can’t find workers? How do we embrace the extraordinary opportunities of new technology while managing the disruptions that come with it? How do we encourage more entrepreneurship and create an environment where capital is accessible, frivolous lawsuits are stopped, and the freedom to speak, innovate, and take risks is always preserved and protected?

Finally, how do we persuade citizens and policymakers that we must restore fiscal responsibility in our country, beginning with carefully measured entitlement reforms? We owe our children and grandchildren nothing less.

These are not simple questions with easy answers. But they are some of the most important ones facing our society, and the Chamber is prepared to tackle them. The good news is that the economic winds are at our backs. There is so much we can accomplish this year and beyond to make America more prosperous and hopeful for everyone. So let’s get going.

About the authors

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue is advisor and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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