The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden should avoid the broad-based use of tariffs, re-engage allies and spend more on education — but preserve the President Donald Trump administration’s tax and regulation cuts, nearly 300 CEOs assembled for a virtual Wall Street Journal conference said.
When it comes to China, the consensus of many of the CEOs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was that forging global alliances was the best way to ultimately pressure China on economic and security matters, WSJ reported.
As for COVID-19, CEOs said Biden should resist any impulse to enact widespread lockdowns because companies have found ways to operate safely, according to WSJ.
New regulations are inevitable, the CEOs acknowledged, but several said the rules should be predictable to allow for long-range planning, WSJ reported.
The CEOs counseled the incoming president to “build consensus,” including with Republicans, WSJ reported.
Even while arguing against higher corporate taxes, the CEOs called for more government spending on education from kindergarten through graduate school, especially in ways that would expand the technical capacity of all future workers so they can compete effectively for jobs and thereby reduce economic inequality, WSJ reported.
In separate interviews unrelated to the WSJ conference, Washington observers and other policy experts have indicated that increasing corporate taxes — one of the potential moves the CEOs opposed — may be high on Biden’s agenda.
Experts predict Biden will push for more stimulus funds, something he has indicated he is likely to do.
In other news, a group of 165 CEOs signed a November letter calling for a smooth, peaceful transition to a Biden administration.
“As business and civic leaders who reflect the political diversity of the country, we urge respect for the democratic process and unified support for our duly elected leadership,” the letter read. “There is not a moment to waste in the battle against the pandemic and for the recovery and healing of our nation to begin.”
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