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MONEY: Corporate America says it is ready to work with Biden

FILE PHOTO: Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 17, 2020.Spencer Platt / Getty Images


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporate America says it is ready to work with President-elect Joe Biden, hoping for quick action on a new round of COVID-19 relief and infrastructure spending.

Major business trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable quickly issued congratulating statements to Biden, even though President Donald Trump has refused to concede.

“The first order of business of the new Congress and the new administration is a broad-based infrastructure program” that would include money to ensure high-speed internet access for remote areas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley told reporters.

Trump often frustrated U.S. business leaders through erratic actions on trade or off-the-cuff calls to boycott or punish a long list of major companies that angered him.

In August, for example, Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear GT.O after the company barred some pro-Trump political attire.

To boost infrastructure spending dramatically, Biden has vowed to raise the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% from the current 21% and to impose a minimum tax to ensure no U.S. corporation can avoid paying income taxes.

The National Association of Manufacturers said the election results, which included Biden’s win and gains by House Republicans, show “the American people are not interested in extreme policies from either party; they are looking for smart, stable and solutions-oriented governance.”

United Airlines UAL.O Chief Executive Scott Kirby on Monday wrote Biden to congratulate him. “We are ready to work with leaders in Washington in support of our nation, our economy and our environment.”

Executives from major tech firms, including Facebook FB.O, Microsoft MSFT.O and Amazon.com AMZN.O, also issued statements of support, as did Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

“We share your vision of using science to control the virus, widening economic opportunities, achieving racial justice and combating the climate crisis,” IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna wrote to Biden.

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos wrote via Instagram on Saturday that “Unity, empathy and decency are not characteristics of a bygone era,” posting a photo of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The National Mining Association, the trade group for U.S. mining companies, congratulated Biden, saying “working together we can increase the competitiveness of existing industries and reestablish and strengthen our domestic supply chains.”

The U.S. Travel Association praised “President-elect Biden’s objective of helping the industries most heavily impacted by the pandemic. The travel industry accounts for more than a third of overall U.S. unemployment, and policies to promote relief, recovery, and stimulus for travel businesses are integral to a U.S. economic turnaround.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Dan Grebler

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