At Jobs Summit, Donohue Points to Latest Harris Poll, Employment Report
To Urge Free Enterprise Policies
WASHINGTON, D.C.—For businesses to hire in greater numbers, Washington must change course and adopt policies that foster stronger and faster economic growth, remove impediments to job creation, reduce uncertainty, and embrace proven free enterprise principles, said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue at today’s Jobs for America Summit 2011.
“Stronger and faster economic growth is the best way to successfully put Americans back to work,” Donohue told the crowd of more than 350 business leaders at the summit. “The time is now for Congress and the White House to act boldly and restore America’s reputation as a can-do country.”
Donohue noted his message was bolstered by the results of a poll of more than 1,400 small businesses—conducted for the U.S. Chamber by Harris Interactive—outlining why businesses are, or aren’t, hiring. The vast majority (84%) of respondents indicated the U.S. economy is on the wrong track. Economic uncertainty is the most important challenge facing small businesses, with 21% saying it’s the top concern, and 49% ranking it within the top three. Nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) said they do not plan to increase hiring in the coming year.
“The voices of these Main Street businesses are telling us plain and simple: To start hiring, we need faster economic growth and a change of course in Washington,” Donohue said.
Donohue noted millions of jobs could be created quickly by simply removing impediments to growth. He said approving the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama would save 380,000 American jobs and create thousands of new ones. Allowing the housing market to clear, investing in infrastructure, boosting domestic energy production, and promoting travel and tourism could put hundreds of thousands of people back to work.
Congress and the White House could reduce uncertainty by reforming the regulatory system, particularly the permitting process so projects could get underway quickly, said Donohue. Nearly 80% of small businesses in the Harris Poll said that Washington should “get out of the way.”
Donohue called on Congress and the White House to promptly reach agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling and on a plan that controls the deficit and the level of debt through major spending cuts and entitlement reform. “It’s an unfortunate reality but it must be done,” Donohue said of raising the debt limit. “Failure to do so would have grave consequences for Main Street businesses and families.
“The most important role the government can play is to remove the impediments and reduce the uncertainties that have slowed our growth and shackled our job creators,” said Donohue. “By unleashing economic growth and freeing our job creators to do what they do best, we can and we will put America back to work.”
To read a complete copy of the Small Business Outlook Survey, please visit:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.