Business Roundtable will push for more stimulus, tariff relief under Biden
- The Business Roundtable, an influential group consisting of prominent corporate leaders, has decided on its key policy priorities under Biden's administration.
- The group will focus on a slew of initiatives, including another coronavirus relief bill to help small businesses and the removal of tariffs.
- The Business Roundtable had been in touch with Biden's campaign before he was elected to be the next president.
The Business Roundtable, a large and influential group consisting of prominent corporate leaders, has decided on its key policy priorities under President-elect Joe Biden's administration and a new Congress.
Joshua Bolten, the CEO of the advocacy and lobbying group, told reporters Tuesday that it will start pushing policymakers on a slew of initiatives, including another coronavirus relief bill to help small businesses, the removal of tariffs, and police reforms.
Congress is locked in a stalemate over another Covid-19 relief bill. Republicans in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, have pushed for a smaller, more targeted measure with enhanced unemployment benefits, and aid and protections for businesses. House Democrats, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are pushing a much larger bill that would include even more unemployment benefits, as well as aid to state and local governments, and direct payments to individuals.
The chairman of the organization is Doug McMillon, the president and CEO of Walmart. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, are among the Business Roundtable's board of directors. The group's members include more than 100 chief executive officers.
"We are urging policymakers to enact phase four legislation now," Bolten said during the briefing.
On trade, Bolten specifically mentioned that they believe Biden should begin cutting back on the tariffs that have been implemented by the Trump administration on foreign goods. He did note, though, that even if the administration removes trade barriers, there are still hurdles to overcome when it comes to trade deals with China.
The move comes as companies start to hire lobbyists to prepare for the incoming Biden administration. The Business Roundtable had been in touch with Biden's campaign before he was elected president.
Bolten confirmed to reporters that the Business Roundtable has been holding discussions with Biden's team and that, even on policy disagreements, the group is convinced it can work with the new administration.
"We feel like that even on the areas where we may disagree on policy, we will have a fair chance on input and to make our positions known," Bolten said. One area of disagreement is Biden's campaign proposal to raise taxes on people making over $400,000, plus an increase in the corporate tax rate.
At least one lobbyist working with the Business Roundtable has previous ties to Biden. Eric Rosen, a lobbyist at the firm Invariant, has Business Roundtable as a client and was once a Judiciary Committee counsel to Biden when he was part of the powerful Senate committee.
Biden has been filling out his administration with advisors who have ties to the larger business community, including Ron Klain, who is the president-elect's chief of staff, and Steve Ricchetti, who on Tuesday was named one of his counselors.
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