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Biden moves to exploit tiff between GOP and corporations

Politico: “The business community doesn’t dislike President Joe Biden’s proposal to hike corporate taxes to pay for a massive $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan. They detest it. But there are some reasons to think corporate leaders are warming to Biden: They backed his Covid-19 recovery plan, which pumped billions of dollars into hard-hit industries and small businesses. They know he comes from a business-friendly state that boasts more corporations than any other. And, well, he’s not Donald Trump, whose trade wars hurt companies and whose incendiary remarks on race offended them. Inside the White House, they are warming to corporate America, too. Biden and his team believe that while the two sides may be at loggerheads over tax rates, they can use business leaders to help move other policy priorities. They talk regularly with corporate America and the White House is considering forming an advisory group of business leaders in much the same way as other recent presidents, including Trump and Barack Obama.”

“‘We said early on … that we would engage the business community and we would reach out and we would have interactions,’ Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said in an interview. ‘You have to realize those are major employers of probably millions of Americans. You can’t not talk to them.’ The cautious courtship between corporate America and the Biden White House could play a critical role in the president’s agenda, as he advances an infrastructure bill through Congress and pushes politically-fraught policies, including on immigration, racial justice and gun violence, without lawmakers. It also reflects a seismic shift in the political landscape, where, not too long ago, Democrats found themselves trying to tamp down opposition from business leaders rather than work with them, and generally business-friendly Republicans were aligning with corporate America rather than periodically bashing it. ‘What President Biden realizes is that business is now ready to engage and they are an important voice at the table,’ said Valerie Jarrett, who served as President Obama’s liaison to corporate America. ‘Big business isn’t simply relying on Republicans to look out for their interests. They’re looking out for their own interests and getting more involved.'”

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