An Open Letter to the U.S. Business Community: How We Measure Success
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce measures our success by what we deliver for you—our members. We believe in the power of the American business community to improve lives, solve problems, and strengthen society—and for 110 years we have helped you do it.
So, as Congress adjourns for August recess, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on where things stand in Washington—and share how we plan to adapt, innovate, and grow alongside the businesses we represent.
The Chamber takes a back seat to no one in its opposition to the reconciliation bill that recently made its way through Congress. In addition to months of behind-the-scenes advocacy and a campaign in critical districts, we issued key vote letters to members of both the Senate and the House, and we continue to advocate against the tax increases and government price controls in the legislation that will deter investment, inhibit innovation, and undermine economic growth.
While we didn’t achieve everything we wanted, it is important to note that the legislation Congress approved is dramatically smaller than what was originally proposed last year—and it significantly reduces the tax increases on businesses.
The Chamber worked with members of the House and Senate to reject more than $2 trillion in harmful tax increases that have been removed from the current bill, including provisions that would have raised the corporate and personal tax rates, taxed capital gains at personal income rates, established a global minimum tax, and imposed a tax increase on pass-through businesses. Our efforts also helped remove a litany of regulations and new government spending programs in the original reconciliation effort that would have shifted our economy from the free market system we know today to a government-knows-best approach.
This, of course, comes after the Chamber worked throughout 2021 to leverage critical relationships among Republicans and Democrats to separate the massive tax-and-spend reconciliation effort from the badly needed infrastructure bill—and to ensure that historic bipartisan legislation became law without a tax increase.
And while we work collaboratively where we can, we aren’t afraid to fight back when we must to challenge overreach and defend the American business community at every turn, in every agency, with every tool at our disposal. Evidence of this fact, the Chamber is suing the FTC and SEC to rein in rogue regulators and defend against excessive overreach at those agencies. And we recently released a campaign to defeat the CFPB’s ideologically driven agenda to radically change the nature of America’s financial services industry.
That’s just a snapshot of some of the ways we serve you.
From our Litigation Center’s success in the courts, including securing seven favorable decisions in 11 decided cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during its most recent term, to our Institute for Legal Reform defending the rule of law in Washington, in state capitals across the country, and around the world, and the Chamber’s expertise and leadership across 300+ priorities, like the businesses we represent, we deliver results.
Because of those results, we have a retention rate of 93% among our largest members and are continually attracting others to join us from across industries, with significant growth in technology and other emerging sectors. Importantly, about 90% of our members are small businesses or state and local chambers of commerce, the very fabric of our communities.
Looking to the future, and building on our continued success, we are focused on driving growth and increasing our impact. In 2020, the Chamber’s consolidated revenue grew to $250 million—and last year that figure rose to $260 million. Our organization is in its strongest financial position in more than a decade, and we are making investments for the future that will add new value to you, our members, new power to our advocacy, and new strength to our influence.
None of this is new. Like the businesses we represent, we are committed to growth, innovation, and pursuing progress for our members—and our nation. And united behind our Shared Purpose, the North Star that guides our mission, we will always know who we are and what we stand for.
Business is the most trusted institution in society, outperforming government across every issue measured and the reason is simple—business works. And as the world’s largest business organization, so does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
About the authors
Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
As President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark heads strategy, government relations and market innovation to support member companies and businesses.