America is at a Crossroads


While the economic fundamentals remain strong, Washington has failed to address the core competitive challenges that will drive growth in the 21st century.
While the fundamentals of our economy and society remain strong, our future is clouded by Washington’s failure to seriously address the core competitive challenges that will drive growth, opportunity, and prosperity in the 21st century.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been actively speaking out on these challenges for years—the need to improve our children’s schools, explore for affordable American energy, rebuild our transportation system, eliminate costly and frivolous lawsuits, improve access to quality and affordable health care, cut burdensome taxes and regulations, and create good American jobs by expanding trade and protecting our intellectual property.
We must not allow our economic leadership to slip away, and with it, the promise of the American Dream.
Progress has been made on some issues, but overall, a culture of complacency and neglect has defined our national response—one atypical of the proud American tradition of greeting hardship with hard work, innovation, and decisive action.
The price of continued negligence will be immense. We must not allow our economic leadership to slip away, and with it, the promise of the American Dream.
Despite an economy that is statistically growing, creating jobs, and expanding incomes, many Americans are troubled by the rising costs of health care, energy, and college tuition. They are worried about jobs, incomes, and pensions. They wonder what lies ahead for their children and grandchildren.
The business community shares these concerns. Unlike previous years, the State of American Business today cannot be easily described in a word or a phrase. The short-term economic outlook is unsettled and driven to some degree by growing anxiety.
Yet the business community and the American people should have confidence in our collective ability to address these challenges. With strong private and public sector leadership, we can build and sustain a competitive U.S. economy that supports national security and expands opportunity and peace of mind across all levels of society.
The Chamber stands ready to provide this private sector leadership. We are implementing an innovative and comprehensive Five-Year Plan that will significantly expand our institution’s global reach, grassroots depth, and issues expertise—giving American enterprise a greater ability to actively influence policy, politics, and government at all levels in a constructive way.
The Chamber will advance a prosperity agenda that will preserve, protect, and promote America’s competitive standing across the globe.
Leading by established principles, we will advance a prosperity agenda that will preserve, protect, and promote America’s competitive standing across the globe. Throughout the 2008 election campaigns, we will challenge candidates to move beyond simple slogans, and we will ask Americans to join us in holding them accountable for delivering open, honest, and realistic solutions to the very real challenges facing American businesses.
The Chamber’s mission has always been—and remains—to help create American jobs, expand prosperity, and reward success. We are all in this together, and we all need to work together. We don’t need more government regulation or private litigation. What we need is more freedom and flexibility, empowerment and opportunity. We need to stop the practices and policies that undermine economic expansion and start doing more to promote the principles of a successful 21st century economy.
Now, more than ever, when it comes to American jobs and American products, we must be strong and competitive. Now, more than ever, our leaders have to fight harder and do better. Now, more than ever, we need to enact commonsense policies that will enable American businesses to compete and win on a global scale.
At the end of the day, other countries can copy us, but no one can beat us.
So let us move forward together to rally business owners and their employees across the nation to take a stand for a better, more confident, prosperous, and secure America.
Thomas J. Donohue
President & CEO
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
January 2008


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