2013 State of American Business

In the 2013 “State of American Business” remarks, U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue argues that “[e]conomic growth must be front and center here in Washington—just as it is in many state capitols across the nation.”  The Chamber forecasts growth of “1½ to 1¾ percent for the first half of the year, gradually accelerating to 2½ percent by the end of the year” – which Donahue contends is a rate that is “simply not acceptable” for getting America’s economy back on track.

In order to sustain and increase America’s prospects for economic growth, Donohue urges policymakers to address “the coming flood of new regulations that will discourage our job creators and damage our competitive edge in the global economy.” Dodd-Frank, for example, mandates the creation of 447 new laws governing financial reform, but he says only one-third of them have been finalized.

Donohue says that the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets will seek to fix “areas of Dodd-Frank that Congress and the regulators simply got wrong” by encouraging a reform agenda that pursues legislation where policymakers have not yet acted and repeals laws that don’t promote economic growth.

The good news according to Donohue? The nation’s housing market shows signs of recovery, European financial markets are stabilizing, and energy prices are holding steady.

The bad news? Tax increases resulting from the recent fiscal cliff negotiations “will hit successful small businesses hard, which will dampen growth and hurt job creation,” says Donohue.