Published

March 11, 2021

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Over the past 12 months, our nation has seen a decade of disruption. What we’ve collectively experienced will change our lives, businesses, communities, and world—permanently.

Now, coming out of the global pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to embrace and lead transformation and usher in the Next American Century.

Today, I proudly took on the role of CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that believes in the power of business to drive progress, prosperity, and innovation. Businesses don’t shrink back from challenges—they rise and overcome them. And our job, as the world’s largest advocacy organization representing businesses large and small, established and emerging, is to help them do it.

This moment in history demands a bold agenda and ambitious vision from the U.S. Chamber. We will lead with solutions, take on tough fights, and win the future for our members and the country.

Leading Bold Solutions

We will lead on the issues that matter most to our members. We will use our seat at the table—as well as the strength of our credibility, coalitions, and expertise—to put forward fresh ideas, to reframe old debates, and to drive productive solutions.

That means seizing this opportunity with a new administration and Congress to achieve real, concrete results on the pro-growth policies that top the Chamber agenda—including infrastructure and immigration—creating the momentum to move on to other major priorities.

We will answer the nationwide call for urgent action on the economic issue of our time—building a workforce that can compete on the global stage and lift up families and communities across the country. Building on decades of work, we will launch a National Workforce Initiative to help address both long-term and acute challenges, including 10 million unemployed, pervasive worker shortages, and escalating challenges in K – 12 education.

We also will strengthen our voice by advancing data-driven proposals to shape the debate on complex policy challenges like health care and climate change.

It’s not enough to put forward ideas if they can’t be implemented—and for that we need a strong governing coalition. We will champion and grow the ranks of the “adults in the room”—the leaders who have the courage and common sense to do not merely what their party dictates, but what their constituents demand and this country needs.

Taking on Tough Fights

The Chamber will lead the battle against the forces that threaten growth and job creation. We will fight anyone who seeks to target, hamstring, or penalize job creators and private industry in pursuit of an anti-business agenda—whether it’s unions, the trial bar, the interest groups, the regulators, or elected officials at every level of government.

Most immediately, we will vigorously work to defeat the PRO Act, which threatens worker privacy, forces employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs, and tramples free speech rights. We will fight—and win—to preserve arbitration, the fastest, most fair, and least expensive way to resolve conflicts. And we will fight for a national privacy law that gives every American the right to control their privacy, no matter where they live, with a clear set of rules for all businesses, no matter where they operate.

To take on a rash of new challenges emerging in the states—ranging from data and internet regulation to energy policy—we will launch a new State Policy Center. Through this effort we can improve coordination with our partners on issues of national significance under consideration at the state or local level. We also will expand our powerful grassroots network across the country to put the full force of the business community behind our efforts.

Winning the Future for Businesses and Our Economy

We will win the future for the business community by championing America’s role in addressing 21st Century global challenges and harnessing technology to propel our economy.

We will work with business and government to strengthen U.S. leadership abroad, confront unfair trade and regulatory practices, and promote the resilient supply chains that keep business moving. Using the Chamber’s global reach and convening power, we will strengthen the business community’s position to drive conversations on critical issues like climate and sustainability, global health, and data governance. We will build new partnerships and alliances to advance our agenda.

We know that the most immediate challenges ahead of us are the public health and economic crises we currently face, and in May, we’ll tackle these and other issues at our first annual Global Forum on Economic Recovery.

The Chamber will also deploy our unmatched expertise, relationships, and ability to deliver results to work on behalf of emerging businesses. Traditional industries have depended on us for more than a century. To extend that same level of trust and reliability to the industries of the future—including biotech, space, fintech, and artificial intelligence—we will invest in our tech-focused expertise, programs, and talent so we can operate with the speed and savvy expected by those sectors. All businesses will benefit from this work because, in today’s economy, every company needs to leverage the power of technology.

A Vibrant New Era

Our success will only be as great as our ambition—that’s true for organizations like the Chamber, and it’s true for our nation.

The Next American Century calls for imagination and audacity, channeled through a bold agenda and laser focus. The Chamber will marshal all our resources and pour all our effort and energy into serving and supporting the American businesses that will lead and define this vibrant new era.

Today, I begin the role of President and CEO of the Chamber with a profound sense of service and responsibility for our members; with deep gratitude to our board of volunteer leaders, our team, and all our partners; and with overwhelming optimism for the future and our role in shaping it.

About the authors

Suzanne Clark headshot

Suzanne Clark

President & CEO

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.

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