The State of American Business—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual signature event to celebrate how American businesses are propelling the country forward— showcases how the Chamber will take on the economic, policy, and political realities in the year ahead. During the 2022 State of American Business, business and community leaders, executives, and members of Congress discussed the fights to come in the near future.
Below you will find some of the top highlights from State of American Business 2022:
In her keynote address, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark highlighted the innovation and resilience of American business while warning against increasing government overreach that could stifle competition and our fragile economic recovery.
“The state of American business is competitive,” said Clark. “Businesses are not simply competing to win today, but to build a better tomorrow—to propel our country and the world toward a brighter future of growth, solutions, and opportunity we know lies ahead.”
Outlining the top priorities for the business community in 2022, Clark explained how competition in the marketplace, competition for talent, competition for global leadership, and competition for ideas are what will spur the pursuit of a better future for all humankind.
Clark’s full speech can be viewed here.
Here are the top five takeaways from Clark’s keynote.
Addressing the worker shortage crisis, Clark called for doubling the number of people legally immigrating to the U.S.; a permanent solution for the “dreamers;” and the removal of barriers to work facing parents, those without broadband access, and formerly incarcerated individuals.
“Let’s ensure everyone in this country has the skills, the education, and the opportunity to go as high and as far as their hard work and talent will take them—for the 11 million jobs that sit vacant today,” she said. “And for the jobs of tomorrow that haven’t even been invented yet.”
Clark warned that by one vital measure—trade—the United States is falling behind.
“While other economies race to ink new deals, the U.S. hasn’t entered an agreement with a new trade partner in a decade. And the current administration is doing little to change that.”
Bold Business Advocates
Clark also warned against political gridlock and said we need more politicians who are focused on winning over voters to their ideas, and then building broad coalitions to turn those ideas into good policy.
“The U.S. Chamber is calling for a new movement of bold—and I mean bold—business advocates committed to defending those elected officials who dare to find the common ground necessary to enact durable policies to move our country forward.”
Following Clark’s speech, leaders in business and government including Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, UPS CEO Carol Tomé, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) discussed innovations and smart solutions that will move the U.S. forward. Dr. Albert Bourla explained how innovations made in the pursuit of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have led to new advancements in health care and Carol Tomé detailed pandemic innovations and predicted that investing in sustainability and technology are two trends that aren’t going away.
Over the next four weeks, the U.S. Chamber will continue the conversation through “The Competition” series of virtual events. The new series will feature business leaders, lawmakers, and policy experts exploring how competition is shaping the future of talent, ideas, the marketplace, and global leadership. Join the first conversation on Tuesday, January 18 at 11 a.m. (EET): Competition for Global Leadership: Trade, AI, and Security.