Obama, CEOs to talk about jobs

@CNNMoney March 6, 2012: 3:13 PM ET
Obama to meet with CEOs to talk about jobs

President Obama was meeting with CEOs Tuesday night, including Boeing's Jim McNerney, to discuss jobs.

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Job creation was expected to be the topic at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night between President Obama and a lobbying group made up of CEOs whose ideas often clash with the administration's.

The Business Roundtable is a group made up of the top leaders of the largest U.S. companies. Chaired by W. James McNerney, Jr., of the Boeing Company (BA, Fortune 500), the group has opposed Obama initiatives ranging from clean air rules to health care reform to Wall Street reform.

Over the past year, Obama has increasingly turned to Big Business to talk about jobs. He regularly meets with a jobs panel chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric Co (GE, Fortune 500)., that includes leaders from the manufacturing and tech industries.

Tuesday's meeting will be Obama's third with the Business Roundtable and comes on the eve of the group's release of list of ideas to spur more job growth and a healthier economy.

"The meeting should produce a valuable and vigorous discussion about the U.S. economy and jobs," said Business Roundtable President John Engler in a statement.

A review of a year's worth of the group's reports on job creation reveals a glimpse of possible topic matter.

The group will likely press the president to reconsider regulations it considers unnecessary or costly. In the past, it has asked the administration to analyze the costs and benefits of major rules from all agencies, and to toss those believed to be too costly.

Health care reform isn't a job killer - yet

One example is the so-called Volcker rule, a part of the Wall Street reform measure. Named for former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, the rule aims to crack down on so-called proprietary trading, bets that big banks can make for their own accounts.

The Business Roundtable is among several business groups that oppose the Volcker rule, saying it has "far-reaching negative consequences that will impede our ability to raise capital and manage risk."

The lobbying group could also tell the president he can fast-track jobs by approving more leases for offshore oil and natural gas drilling.

And the CEOs might ask the president to get out of the way of Keystone XL pipeline project that would boost the flow of crude from the oil sands of Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Business Roundtable has called that project "key to U.S. job creation, economic growth and energy security," and opposes the administration's move to halt progress while the proposal is reviewed.

The CEOs also could talk to the president about the administration's plan to guide the debate on corporate income tax reform. While the group wants a lower rate for corporate income taxes, it doesn't like efforts to capture more tax dollars from companies' overseas operations.

"The White House calculation took into account only a small portion of taxes paid by worldwide American companies, and made other unstated assumptions that minimized the true tax burden faced by these companies," according to the group.

There are a few instances when the Business Roundtable has agreed with the Obama administration. Both the group and the president have been pushing for expanded trade opportunities for U.S. businesses.

Last September, the group also applauded the administration's controversial decision to back off a draft rule to toughen rules on air pollutersTo top of page

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