U.S. Chamber Staff


February 17, 2017


Just as it did in Chicago and Phoenix, the U.S. Chamber’s #LetsGrow Tour stopped in Baton Rouge to learn what can be done to generate faster economic growth.

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue explained that faster economic growth would do wonders for Americans:

Growth won’t solve all of our problems, but we can’t solve any of them without it. But think about what stronger, long-term growth will achieve: Job creation will accelerate, incomes will rise, poverty will decline, investments will flood in, innovation will flourish, and our deficits will shrink.

Here’s the difference: Over the next decade, growing at 3% instead of 2.5% would mean 1.2 million more jobs, another $4,200 in average incomes, and over $3 trillion sliced off our debt.

Those numbers get a lot bigger at 4%!

In fact, a mere half-point boost in the annual growth rate over a 30-year period generates around $25 trillion in extra revenue. That means more money to rebuild our military, fix our schools, invest in research, repair our infrastructure, rebuild our inner cities, and properly care for the sick, the elderly, and our veterans. For businesses, it means more customers, more sales, more income, and more access to capital.

Stronger, faster economic growth is the one thing that’s good for every business, large and small … for every American, rich and poor … and for everyone in government who wants to see more revenue to fund our programs and services. And we need to make sure this growth benefits every region, every community, and every American.

What are some policies that can spur growth? Donohue laid out a few.

Regulatory Reform

There is no justification for the regulatory overkill we have seen over the last 8 years. No one has been hurt more by this overkill than America’s small businesses … except maybe the people those small businesses couldn’t hire as a result. An unelected fourth branch of government—the regulatory branch—is holding our small business sector back while imposing unnecessary costs on larger companies too.

Producing American Energy

Energy presents a huge growth and jobs opportunity for the American people. We’ve got to prudently develop the abundant natural resources our country has been blessed with—and put them to work for our economy, our workers, our consumers, and governments at all levels. And we can do so safely and while protecting the environment.

We can generate more growth and jobs by making America’s infrastructure the best in the world. We should seize the opportunity created by the bipartisan support for infrastructure.

Tax Reform

What we need is a tax code that will lower the business tax rate, which is now the highest in the industrialized world when you add in state taxes. We need a tax code that will significantly lower individual tax rates as well. Millions of small businesses file as pass through entities, and their marginal rates can exceed 50 percent in some states. And we need a tax code that will encourage investment and capital formation and enhance America’s competitiveness.

Selling More American Goods and Services

Overseas markets are important. Two-thirds of all exporting companies are small businesses. They rely on trade to fill their order books, expand their customer base, and meet payroll.

Exports count for a significant portion of sales for most larger companies.

Global supply chains are highly integrated—many U.S. manufactured goods are comprised of parts that are sourced from all over the world. This improves efficiency, lowers costs, and allows each nation to focus on what they do best.

Therefore, we should be seeking to expand trade, not restrict it. All of our polices should be geared towards increasing our exports, attracting job-creating capital from all over the world, and advancing American competitiveness in the global economy.

Americans’ limitless imagination can be unleashed. “We just need to foster them, nurture them, and reward them,” Donohue asserted. “For that, we need the right policies—and a grassroots army of business activists to push them through at the federal, state, and local levels.”

Donohue also chatted with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo about the U.S. Chamber’s #LetsGrow Tour.

About the authors

U.S. Chamber Staff