Keynote speaker at the Florida Chamber’s Board of Governors Capitol Days John McKernan, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and former Governor of Maine, joins the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line to discuss The Growth Imperative, and how Florida’s investments in our state’s long-term future is a move in the right direction.
According to Gov. McKernan, the national growth rate is not where it should be in order to provide meaningful economic opportunities for Florida. What does this mean for the future?
“Ten years from now we are going to see that we are not going to have the jobs we need,” said Gov. McKernan. “We’re not going to have the kind of economic activity, we’re not going to have the standard of living and we’re not going to have the quality of life that is important to Americans and that we’ve come to expect.”
The solution? Making common sense changes to the policies in Washington, D.C. that affect Florida’s economy.
“Whether its tax reform, whether it’s regulatory reform, whether it’s new trade agreements-95 percent of our customers are outside of the United States for American businesses,” explained Gov. McKernan. “We need immigration reform, we need to make sure that we are investing in education and workforce, and infrastructure so that we have the appropriate policies that will allow us to take advantage of the opportunity to grow and to create the kind of jobs that we can create. We can create the kind of economic growth if we have the polices that are going to drive that kind of long-term growth.”
And while Florida is moving in the right direction, we know the fight is far from over.
“From our perspective, Florida is doing a lot of good things… you’re making the right investments,” said Gov. McKernan. “I’m a great admirer of your Cornerstone Report and the Six Pillars because you are hitting many of those areas that I’ve just mentioned that the federal government needs to look at. So with that, I think we can see a major opportunity for Florida. But the point I always make when I go to different states is that, as well as Florida is doing and the kind of investments that you are making, you’re not going to be able to maximize your potential unless we have the federal government make the kind of policy changes that allows the overall economy to grow. When the overall economy grows, states like Florida that are making the major investments that your making in the right areas, are going to be the ones that are going to benefit and it’s going to be the residents of Florida who will benefit from that as well.”