WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama, trying to boost anemic job creation and improve testy relations with the US corporate community, said Wednesday he wants ideas from business leaders to "seize the promise of this moment."
The president spoke just ahead of a meeting with some of the nation's top chief executives, framing expectations and goals for a closely watched session that he arranged. Obama, who has tussled with the business world over taxes, his health care law, bonus pay and corporate responsibility, is seeking more coordination.
"I hope to elicit ideas from these business leaders that will help us not only climb out of recession, but seize the promise of this moment," the president said. He spoke of tax reform, regulation that won't undermine growth, and ways to get businesses to invest and stop holding "nearly 2 trillion dollars on their books."
With new tax and trade deals as enticements, Obama is taking yet another step toward the political middle as he moves to confront a still-weak economic recovery and the capital's new political alignment with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in early January and narrowing the majority of Obama's Democrats in the Senate.