6 Steps Congress and the President Can Do NOW to Create Jobs

Sep 6, 2011

 

Zero.

That was the number many Americans were talking about during the unofficial final weekend of summer, because that was the number of net jobs created in August.

Zero isn't so much a number as the absence of one. It's a void, a hole. Our economy is in a hole with millions of people unemployed, and millions more who have given up looking for work.

Lots of jobs plans will be bandied about, including one from the President in a speech to Congress on Thursday. The business community has to be part of the discussion. In an open letter sent to the Congress and the President yesterday, the Chamber offered six steps that should be taken now to spur job creation without adding to the deficit.

Expanding trade and global commerce

  • Passing three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama could create 380,000 jobs;
  • Modernizing export controls and could help create 340,000 jobs;
  • Expanding U.S. exports by advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and initiate trade talks with the EU, our largest commercial partner, to eliminate all barriers to goods trade with Europe;
  • Protecting 19 million IP-related jobs by cracking down on rogue websites and passing patent reform legislation.

Producing more American energy

  • Opening up offshore resources could help create 144,700 jobs;
  • Expanding access to federal lands for oil and gas exploration could add 530,000 new jobs;
  • Promoting development of natural gas in resource-rich shale would create 116,000 jobs (in Pennsylvania alone);
  • Approving the Keystone XL pipeline connecting Canadian oil fields to refineries in Texas, a project that would support 250,000 jobs.

Speeding up infrastructure projects

  • Passing surface transportation, aviation, and water resource bills to enable communities to plan, hire, and prevent layoffs;
  • Removing documented obstacles to 351 stalled energy projects, which could help create 1.9 million jobs annually;
  • Removing impediments to private capital could add 1.9 million new jobs over 10 years;
  • Fully implementing the Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) Program, which could create 35,000 jobs a year.

Welcome tourists and business visitors to the United States

  • Removing the hassle factor by expanding the visa waiver program and streamlining the visa application process;
  • Promoting American destinations and restore the U.S. share of the travel market to its 2000 level, which could help create 1.3 million jobs by 2020.

Streamlining permitting and provide regulatory certainty and relief

  • Geting job-creating projects moving;
  • An executive order prohibiting discretionary regulations with a substantial economic impact would give businesses certainty and help spur hiring;
  • Taking up to $1 trillion in accumulated private capital off the sidelines and into business expansion by eliminating uncertainty caused by burdensome regulations.

Pass job-creating tax incentives

  • Implementing a repatriation holiday and could lead to 2.9 million jobs over two years.
  • Creating a corporate capital gains tax window in order to free up capital for investment and job creation.

Over the next few days, we'll flesh out why each step is needed.

Along with sending our leaders these steps, the Chamber, with a traditional, online, print, and social media blitz, is mobilizing its network of members, state and local chambers of commerce, and grassroots supporters to tell Washington to act now on job creation.

Read the Chamber's open letter to Congress and the President below. Then leave a comment letting us know how you would create jobs.

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