President Obama met with top business leaders on Tuesday night and he talked about the need to focus on our core strengths in order to grow the American economy: American manufacturing; American energy; American innovation; and ensuring American workers have the best skills and education.
The association, whose members include top executives from some of the largest corporations in the country, gathered in Washington, DC to discuss a report it is releasing today called “Taking Action for America: A CEO Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.” It had been two years since the President last met with the group, and he highlighted many of the gains the economy has made in that time, including the addition of more than 3.7 million new jobs in the private sector and the resurgence of the American auto industry. President Obama also discussed the need to do more than restore our economy to pre-crisis levels -- we need to position ourselves to be competitive in this 21st century economy over the long term and create an economy built to last:
We’re also going to have to make significant investments in American energy. I am very proud of the fact that American energy output is reaching record levels. We are seeing the highest oil production in the last eight years. At the same time, because so many of your companies have become more efficient, we’re actually seeing a reduction in imports -- in fact, below 50 percent for the first time back in 2010, the first time in a decade.
But we’ve got more work to do, and it’s going to require an all-of-the-above strategy. Obviously, folks are getting killed right now with gas prices. And that has an impact on all of your companies, because consumers are more price sensitive when it comes to filling up their gas tank than just about anything else. That means, yes, we’ve got to produce more oil and more natural gas, and we are game for that. It also means, though, we’ve got to invest in the energy sources of the future.