Governed by a council with representatives from tribes and tribally-owned businesses, the initiative will advocate on behalf of tribes to foster a more conducive environment to conduct and launch businesses in Indian Country. Among the areas the initiative’s partners plan to pursue in the upcoming Congressional session are energy development, environmental policies and potential foreign direct investment in Indian Country.[Native American Times]
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday urged securities market regulators in both countries to resolve differences over sharing of confidential business information that China considers a state secret. "Failure to reach an agreement will create regulatory dead-zones that harm investors and businesses. Furthermore, the threat of retaliatory actions by regulators, on both sides of the Pacific, may create a regulatory protectionism that will harm both economies," the business group said in a letter to the heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.[Reuters]
The New York Times on Monday published a 7,000 word narrative on Wal-Mart operations in Mexico, alleging bribery in the opening of 19 stores….The Washington Post in April drew unflattering attention to Wal-Mart’s participation in efforts by the US Chamber of Commerce to see amendments enacted to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act even as the company was accused of violating the law. [Main Justice]
Having a look at the report, I was disappointed to find that it’s not really all that comprehensive. Or persuasive. If you happen to consider the facts…. In fact, not long ago the US Chamber of Commerce was trumpeting one of these reports for the controversial proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline which noted additional jobs generated for burger flippers and strippers…ahem…sorry,dancers. [Midwest Energy News]
The U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs Bill Kovacs explains that EPA’s regulatory thrust will block economic growth in parts of the country that won't be able to meet the new air quality standard.[Free Enterprise]
Federal regulation established in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis improved shareholder value before a federal appeals court struck it down, according to a study by Joanna T. Campbell, a management professor at the University of Arkansas, and her colleagues…. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, challenged the proxy rule in a federal lawsuit. The ruling by the three-judge federal appeals panel was considered a victory for corporate America. In light of the study's findings, it may be a loss for shareholders, said Campbell, who hopes to share the findings with the commission.[Phys.Org]
A Wall Street Journal editorial echoed right-wing talking points to endorse an Ohio bill that would restrict asbestos victims from proving their claims at trial. But the editorial, which claims "rampant fraud" exists in asbestos-related litigation, provides no evidence of systemic abuse, conceals the fact that multiple companies can be legally responsible for asbestos injuries, and fails to disclose that the state legislation is a corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council bill pushed by top Republican ALEC officials…. Instead, the editorial repeats talking points of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in support of a bill not only modeled after ALEC legislation, but pushed by a Republican state senator, Bill Seitz, who was also co-chair of ALEC's "Civil Justice Task Force."[Media Matters for America]
Bond Dealers of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned lawmakers Thursday that the so-called Volcker Rule could restrict liquidity in the muni bond market and raise issuers' costs…. Written testimony submitted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the rule could prohibit banks, when underwriting, from holding bonds in inventory while they line up customers. Those banks may delay underwriting bonds until buyers are found in advance, the Chamber said. "Imagine a municipality or a hospital facing a critical funding need. Under the Volcker rule, they may go bankrupt waiting for a bank to line up the funding. Or, they would end up paying a crippling rate," the Chamber wrote in its testimony. The rule already exempts bonds issued by state and local governments.[The Bond Buyer ($)]
Ten of the top trade association heads brought in a total of more than $37 million for the 2011 tax year, according to numbers recently compiled by CEO Update. The top earner was Edison Electric Institute's Tom Kuhn, who reported $6.7 million in compensation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Tom Donahue made $4.9 million.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce last night sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk “requesting a review of the Volcker Rule to determine if it violates any WTO or free trade agreement obligations.”[Politico]
There aren't many defense contractors interested in "fiscal cliff" issues, but instead you see trade associations, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lobbying here. It seems as though fiscal cliff issues started to enter the spotlight more after the election, so the data won't tell us much until January, when reports about fourth-quarter lobbying come in.[NPR]
A woman who ordered tea aboard a Southwest Airlines flight sued after she spilled the hot water onto her lap, causing second-degree burns. That case took on a life of its own after defense lawyers and business interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, began citing it as an outlandish example of greed and abuse in the legal system. But the facts and outcome of the case were distorted — blurred, many legal experts say, by the forces of time and misleading propaganda. [USA TODAY]
The U.S. Chamber is still the most influential lobbying outfit in the capital. But the chamber has lost its premier status — at least in the theatrics of the White House-led fiscal cliff discussions. In part, that’s because top White House officials view the chamber with suspicion because of its hard-line support for GOP candidates over the past decade. The[Washington Post]
It's a classic Washington phenomenon: Ahead of a major deal, corporate clients and other groups pay a premium to the Washington influence machinery to make sure their interests are protected….The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is focusing its attention on leveraging the 7.5 million grassroots activists in its database and also has plans to push out more analysis in the coming weeks. [The Star-Ledger ]
If that's too unadorned for you, and you're looking for sheer drama, you might enjoy the barely suppressed panic at the US chamber of commerce site, which features a dramatic digital clock, hung with chains from Florida and New Mexico on a map of the United States – with blood-red borders all around. The Chamber also links to the Tax Foundation's tax calculator, with the calm and subtle advice to "CALCULATE YOUR POST-TAXMAGEDDON TAXES."[The Guardian]
Breaking with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies, many small business owners now call for ending tax cuts for the top-tier payers, restoring these rates to where they were under Clinton.[U.S. News & World Report]
A coalition of influential business groups is calling on Washington policymakers to quickly wrap up their work on the “fiscal cliff” by punting decisions about taxes and spending to the next Congress…. “The challenges of crafting a package of revenues and spending cuts to reduce the deficit while protecting a still-fragile recovery are tough, but not impossible,” said the group, which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business. The groups urged Congress to extend current tax policies, including the Bush-era rates, and wait until next year to tackle entitlement and tax reforms. [The Hill]
The Chamber's grip on Washington may be loosening. The New York Times details how the Chamber's insistence during the fiscal talks on not raising taxes is not making much headway with the Obama Administration. And, as my colleague David Callahan pointed out today, the Chamber's position is increasingly out of step with many CEOs and corporate interests who are open to raising taxes to deal with the deficit.[PolicyShop]
The Chamber was the insurers’ organization of choice to derail Obamacare. During 2009 and 2010, America’s Health Insurance Plans —the major industry trade group— funneled more than $100 million of policyholders’ money to the Chamber’s anti-reform advertising campaign. [Center for Public Integrity]
How can you tell that momentum is building for change?
Well, one good sign is that the opposition starts getting nervous about your progress.
That’s why we took it as a positive sign that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently stepped up attacks on shareholders who attempt to make companies disclose political spending.
Earlier this month, I attended an almost comical presentation at the U.S. Chamber headquarters where speakers spent most of a four hour event attacking political spending disclosure resolutions as being bad for business.
I say ‘almost’ comical because, while much of the information is laughably wrong, the subject matter is far too important to joke about.
There are a number of things wrong with what I heard at this event, but I’d like to focus on two disturbing claims in particular.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently released a report that confirmed a fact many small business groups already know to be true: small businesses are leading the nation’s economic recovery. Green For All is one of the groups that has seen this first-hand. We have worked for years to support small green businesses with the skills and resources needed to create new jobs while improving our environment. We know from experience that small businesses are America’s principal drivers on the road to economic recovery. It is these businesses that are, time and time again, the most capable at fostering local community resilience in times of economic hardship.
Today, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce ( http://www.uswcc.org ) calls on congressional leaders to reject the Ryan Budget as wrong for the future of America, and pledges to take the case to protect the economic future of women to every community.