Will Obama's relationship with the business community change?

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House


JEREMY HOBSON: Well in Washington today Larry Summers makes his last speech as director of President Obama's National Economic Council. There's speculation the president will name a replacement for Summers who can smooth over strained relations with the business community. On that note the President will meet with a bunch of CEOs on Wednesday.

Our Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale reports now on the White House's efforts to make nice with the private sector.

John Dimsdale: Last week, President Obama got behind a tax code overhaul that could benefit corporations. Martin Regalia is chief economist at the Chamber of Commerce. He says tax reform is a good idea, and thanks to Republican victories in Congress, business now has a seat at the White House negotiating table.

Martin Regalia: Where you have divided government, you actually can come to a table and discuss without having the feeling that you're going to be served as the main course.

The last successful tax reform was in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan was closer to the business community than Obama is. George Yin, who was a Senate staffer at the time, says that means Obama's tax reform faces strong headwinds.

George Yin: That strategy becomes that much more difficult it seems, because President Obama then has to go against the very sector that he already doesn't have good relations with.

Still, Yin says tax reform gives the White House a chance to repair its standing with the business community.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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