Obama Faces Chamber
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|We've heard a range of trade associations execs say that the Obama administration has depicted business as the enemy. Yesterday, speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce, the president expressed interest in being more neighborly. "Maybe if I had brought over a fruitcake when I first moved in, we would have gotten off to a better start, but I'm going to make up for it," he said. Apparently, that doesn't mean he's sending over more fruitcakes.|
|Obama riffed on Kennedy's famous "ask not" line: "Ultimately, winning the future is not just about what the government can do for you to succeed, it's also about what you can do to help America succeed." He promised to help invest in infrastructure and education, simplify the tax code and regulatory system, and expand trade. But he also called on the business community to invest more in American jobs. While it is profitable for global companies to pursue business and set up facilities in countries like China, India, and Brazil, Obama said, "combined with a brutal and devastating recession, these forces have shaken the faith of the American people in the institutions of business and government."|
|US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue introduced Obama, noting that the Chamber has been addressed by every president since William Taft, who suggested its creation in 1912. "Getting a seat here today was one of the hottest tickets in town," Tom said. "Let me also reaffirm the American business community's absolute commitment to working with you and your administration to advance our shared objectives." Obama echoed the sentiment in his speech: "We have to renew people's faith in the promise of this country—that this is a place where you can make it if you try. And we have to do this together: business and government; workers and CEOs; Democrats and Republicans."|