CORRECTED – Obama courts U.S. business to spur hiring

(Corrects company in third paragraph to show Jeffrey Immelt is
chief executive of General Electric Co, not Boeing Co)

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama,
trying to reset strained relations with the corporate world,
said on Wednesday he would pick the brains of America’s top
business executives to help boost tepid U.S. growth and slow
hiring.

“This morning 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,” Obama said in a statement.

Obama is meeting 20 top business leaders, including Jeffrey
Immelt, chief executive of General Electric Co (GE.N: ), and John
Chambers, chief executive of Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: ), to
encourage them to ramp up hiring amid strong corporate
profits.

Obama said he wanted ideas on tax reform, a “balanced
approach to regulation” and “ideas that will help businesses to
invest in America and American jobs, at a time when they are
holding nearly $2 trillion on their books.”

The president has had his ups and downs with the business
community, notably over healthcare and Wall Street reforms, but
he has generally pleased corporate critics with a plan to
extend Bush-era tax cuts that is expected to win backing from
U.S. lawmakers.

The measures, thrashed out by the White House with
Republicans despite the misgivings of Democrats over tax breaks
for wealthier Americans, are seen as boosting U.S. output by 1
percentage point next year if adopted.

U.S. growth has resumed after the worst recession since the
1930s, but unemployment remains painfully high at 9.8 percent
and the Obama administration wants companies who are sitting on
fat cash piles to invest and expand their U.S. workforces.
(Reporting by Alister Bull; additional reporting by Ross
Colvin and Jeff Mason; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

CORRECTED – Obama courts U.S. business to spur hiring