President Obama Addresses Business Community's Concerns in Chamber of Commerce Speech
"We need to make America the best place on Earth to do business," Obama said.
The President emphasized that, despite hard knocks during the recession, the United States is still the biggest and "most vibrant" economy in the world. But technological advances have made business and job competition fiercer than ever. Obama specifically mentioned the booming middle classes of China, India, and Brazil as competitors for global business destinations.
To partly combat jobs leaving for overseas destinations, the government has signed export deals with China and India that support 250,000 American jobs, and with South Korea supporting 70,000 American jobs. It is also pursuing trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and Russia.
Obama outlined the government's responsibility for making the United States desirable for businesses of all stripes: upgrading transportation and communication systems, investing in education, and "[knocking] down barriers that make it harder for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system."
Likewise, Obama called on the business community to recognize their responsibilities to the American people: "Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers, what you can do to support the American economy and invest in this nation."
Some of Obama's proposals to improve business are already in motion. He has proposed a larger, permanent tax credit towards research and development and has pledged to veto any bill that is burdened with unnecessary earmarks to bring down the deficit. Additionally, he acknowledged the high corporate tax rate and said the government would look to lower it and eliminate unfair loopholes.
He also plans to put more people to work rebuilding the country's transportation infrastructure, to eventually connect 80 percent of the nation to high-speed rail, and to guarantee high-speed Internet access to virtually all Americans. In the education sector, 100,000 new math and science teachers will be trained, government will work to make college more affordable, and the community college system will be revitalized.
Obama also mentioned major facility expansions across the country, including Caterpillar's new plant in Texas that saved jobs from being sent to Japan, Whirlpool's first new U.S. factory in more than 10 years, and Dow's new facility in Michigan that will produce electric vehicle batteries.
Overall, Obama's message to business was clear: use corporate profits to help boost the economy through hiring and spending and "get in the game."
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