Jan 14, 2016 - 8:00am

Give American Business a Chance to Show the World What We Can Do

Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

To: The 45th President of the United States

From: Thomas J. Donohue

Dear 45,

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents the doers and dreamers who create jobs, invent products, and provide the services that deliver a high standard of living to American citizens and strengthen communities across the country. Last November we, along with many voices in the business community, began writing letters to you, the next president of the United States, highlighting ways to get our economy moving.

My annual State of American Business address looks at our economy and our country through the eyes of our members, from the executives who run our largest companies to the small business owners up and down Main Street. 

From our perspective, the state of American business in 2016 is filled with uncertainty, risks, and challenges. Yet we are optimistic about the future of our country. We know America has extraordinary capacities, talents, resources, opportunities, and freedoms that are simply unmatched anywhere on earth.



We also know a positive future will not happen automatically. We must work for it and earn it. So from the moment you take office, we hope you will focus on growing our economy, creating jobs, lifting incomes, and expanding opportunities for all Americans. You can do this by:


  • Expanding Trade. More than 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and more than 38 million American jobs depend on trade. Selling more American goods and services abroad would be a boon to our businesses, especially small companies, while creating countless jobs for workers and revitalizing entire communities.
  • Advancing Our Energy Revolution. Unleashing America’s energy potential and selling our abundant resources abroad could create millions of jobs and keep consumer prices low.
  • Controlling Regulations. Smarter and fewer regulations would free up resources in businesses of all sizes to employ more people with higher wages and better benefits.
  • Reforming Entitlement Programs. Commonsense reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would preserve these programs for future generations, while improving our fiscal situation and creating room in the budget to invest in other priorities.
  • Revitalizing Capital Markets and Simplifying the Tax Code. Restoring vitality to our capital markets would help seed innovation and startups, and enacting comprehensive tax reform that lowers corporate and personal tax rates, broadens the base, and simplifies compliance would stimulate growth and create jobs.

This year is about far more than just an election. This year will see a critical debate over our nation’s economic future.

Like you, we want our nation to be as exceptional as we know it can be. We want all Americans to have a real chance to succeed. Let’s work together to do just that. Give America’s business people a chance to show the world what we can do.


Thomas J. Donohue
President and CEO
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

About the Author

About the Author

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

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