Business Roundtable Statements Ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union Address

February 5, 2019

Washington – Ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union address, Business Roundtable is urging the Administration and the 116th Congress to work together on enacting policies in seven different areas to support strong, sustained economic growth that will benefit all U.S. workers, families and communities.

The policy areas CEO members of the Business Roundtable are prioritizing are the following: strengthening America’s innovation engine, making a significant and sustained investment in infrastructure, maintaining and building upon the success of tax reform, removing barriers to free trade, modernizing our immigration system, bolstering educational and workforce opportunities, and enacting a national consumer privacy law.

To emphasize these priorities, Business Roundtable issued the following statements from Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mike Burke of AECOM, Gregory Hayes of United Technologies Corporation, Tom Linebarger of Cummins Inc., Chuck Robbins of Cisco Systems, Inc., Ginni Rometty of IBM and Randall Stephenson of AT&T Inc.:

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of Business Roundtable: “Throughout our history, the United States of America has been a beacon of global leadership. Fundamental to that leadership has been the opportunity for all Americans to succeed — to climb the economic ladder. But our country risks jeopardizing these advantages if we don’t address fundamental inequities and the most pressing challenges facing our society. Modernizing and reforming our education, infrastructure, immigration and regulatory systems will build new foundations of growth and prosperity for U.S. workers and businesses and drive more inclusive economic growth. To achieve this we must take bold action to strengthen America’s innovation engine to ensure that the United States remains the global leader of innovation and positions all Americans for success. Business Roundtable CEOs look forward to working collaboratively with the Administration and across the aisle in the 116th Congress to help make this a reality.”
Mike Burke, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of AECOM and Chair of the Business Roundtable Infrastructure Committee: “Democrats and Republicans have a unique opportunity this year to pass bipartisan legislation to modernize infrastructure and turn an economic weakness into an economic strength. U.S. businesses lose $27 billion per year in added transportation costs because of America’s congested and deficient roads, bridges, ports and waterways. But a significant and sustained investment in infrastructure would create over a million jobs, raise wages, put thousands of dollars in the pocketbooks of American families and maximize U.S. economic growth. Fixing America’s infrastructure gets more expensive and increasingly difficult to solve with each passing day, so the time for action is now.”
Gregory Hayes, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of United Technologies Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee: “For the first time in decades, the United States has a competitive tax system which encourages American companies to invest in the U.S. Business Roundtable urges policymakers to preserve and build upon this modernized tax system to ensure American companies will continue to grow, create jobs and invent the technologies of the future here in the United States.”
Tom Linebarger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins Inc. and Chair of the Business Roundtable Trade & International Committee: “With nearly one in five American jobs dependent on international trade and investment, policymakers should focus on opening markets and removing, not imposing, barriers to free trade. This includes taking down tariffs and foreign retaliation to help American businesses, farmers and workers compete at home and around the world. Business Roundtable CEOs will work with Congress and the Administration to sustain and improve the trilateral North American trading relationship and move the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement across the finish line. We encourage the Administration to continue constructive negotiations with China to address long-standing unfair trade practices that hurt U.S. workers and businesses. The multi-lateral rules-based trading system is critical to protecting U.S. workers and businesses, and we urge the Administration to work with our allies to strengthen and reform the World Trade Organization. Positive outcomes across all of these fronts can restore certainty to the U.S. economy and open up opportunities for all Americans.”
Chuck Robbins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco System, Inc. and Chair of the Business Roundtable Immigration Committee: "Today's immigration system is hurting American innovation and economic growth and doesn't reflect our nation's values. Business Roundable supports a modern approach to immigration reform that balances increased skill-based immigration, national security and domestic talent. We encourage Congress and the Administration to develop bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform."
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education & Workforce Committee: “It’s time to give Americans new education pathways to prosperity and to build a workforce that is 'Tomorrow Ready.' That means modernizing the Higher Education Act so students and mid-career professionals can get federal help to build the skills and competencies that lead to great jobs. Common sense policy reforms like this, along with business-led efforts to better align skills with jobs like the Business Roundtable Workforce Partnership Initiative, will help close America’s high-tech skills gap and expand opportunity in communities across the country.”
Randall Stephenson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Inc. and Chair of the Business Roundtable Technology Committee: Congress should pass a national privacy law this year to ensure that no matter where American consumers live, they have a consistent set of privacy rights. Business Roundtable CEOs from every sector of the economy have developed a framework to protect consumers, provide for one set of rules and promote innovation. We look forward to working closely with members of Congress and others to find bipartisan consensus for such a law.”