President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address with a bit less of a partisan, pep-rally atmosphere than has been present at the speech in recent years, and it certainly carried far from celebratory tone over achievements of the last year. Much of the speech read like jet another open love letter from the president to the business community, especially smaller operations, that White House is serious about improving conditions for U.S. industry.
Though much of the speech revolved around looking forward, "doing better" and "reinventing ourselves, Obama quickly and decisively pointed out ways the administration was willing to extend the olive branch to businesses. Key among them was restating the plan unveiled in January to eliminate unnecessary regulatory overlap, such as 12 different agencies having a hand in certain business mandates or, in a somewhat joking aside, that two departments are responsible for salmon, pending on what part of the production process the industry is in.
Additionally, Obama shined a light on an issue dear to the GOP: trade. He made no less than four references in the speech to South Korea, with whom the United States just signed a new free trade agreement. He also strongly reaffirmed the plan to step up exporting activity not just in the long-term, but right now. The president also all but promised a huge push to amend last year's health care legislation to remove 1099 provisions that would lead to a heap of unnecessary, unwanted paperwork by U.S. businesses.
(Editor's Note: Full story available in this week's eNews, to be available on our NACM website late afternoon Thursday or, if the 10-12 inches of snow forecast for the region around NACM's Maryland headquarters does arrive, by Friday).
Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer