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President Donald Trump has been in office a little more than five weeks, and many of the actions he has taken have been aimed at jumpstarting our economy – the number one challenge facing the country.
The best way to address this challenge is through pro-growth policies. As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said recently in Baton Rouge, “Growth won’t solve all of our problems, but we can’t solve any of them without it.”
President Trump has already signaled that he will be focused on driving growth in the U.S. economy. Ahead of his first address to Congress, take a moment to look at what he’s done and what he should do in the months ahead to help our economy grow faster.
Trump’s Early Achievements
President Trump has made regulatory relief and energy infrastructure top priorities.
He told federal agencies that they must reduce regulatory costs.
He signed executive orders expediting reviews and permitting for important infrastructure projects and pushed construction of the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL pipelines.
He instructed the Labor Department to review its fiduciary rule, which would hurt the retirement savings options of small businesses and their employees.
He signed a law rolling back duplicative regulations on coal producers.
And he quickly nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
However, while these actions are a step in the right direction when it comes to encouraging economic growth, more work lies ahead.
A Growth Agenda for Trump
In the State of American Business address, Tom Donohue laid out the American Growth Agenda, a set of policy priorities to revitalize the American economy. By embracing these priorities, President Trump can harness the momentum he’s generated to drive the economy forward. Here are a few.
In pushing for fixes to our health care system, President Trump should work to end harmful Obamacare taxes--the Health Insurance Tax, the Cadillac Tax, and the medical device tax--and remove costly and ineffective mandates. It’s especially important that any reform support—and not jeopardize—the employer-sponsored health coverage most Americans depend on.
President Trump should work with Congress and the business community on the first comprehensive tax reform in over three decades. Pro-growth reforms will encourage investment and innovation, grow businesses, create jobs, and boost wages.
Part of making our economy great again is fixing America’s broken lawsuit system. Congress has prioritized a series of legal reform proposals designed to put real victims ahead of plaintiffs’ lawyers, and stop fraud and abuse of the civil justice system. President Trump should work with Congress and sign these legal reforms when they come to his desk.
Now is the time to reexamine how high-impact federal regulations are written.
That can be done with the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA). The RAA would improve accountability, transparency, and participation in the rule-making process, and it would take encroaching federal power away from unaccountable federal agencies and return it to Congress and the people.
To kick off the session, the House passed the RAA with a bipartisan vote of 238-183 on January 11. President Trump should work with Congress to sign the RAA into law.
Embracing American Energy
President Trump should continue to make American energy production and infrastructure a priority by reviewing regulations, speeding up the permitting processes, and utilizing our vast domestic energy resources.
American businesses need strong, dependable infrastructure in order to move products and serve customers quickly and efficiently. Their ability to do so determines whether our economy grows or shrinks. It’s time to invest meaningfully in modernizing our country’s roads, bridges, highways, airports, and more, and President Trump should work with Congress to find a long-term, sustainable funding solution that ensures our infrastructure meets job creators’ needs for generations to come.
Meaningful policy change in the federal government takes time, so patience is necessary. Remember, President Trump is still getting his teams in place across all the federal agencies.
But even in the few weeks he has been president, progress has been made on a number of fronts. If he pushes ahead with sensible policies that focus on economic growth, President Trump will see an economy that grows faster, creates millions of good-paying jobs, and revives the spirit of the American Dream.