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Lobbying AmericaThe Politics of Business from Nixon to NAFTA$
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Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149165

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149165.001.0001

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The Birth of the Business Roundtable

The Birth of the Business Roundtable

(p.76) Chapter 3 The Birth of the Business Roundtable
Lobbying America

Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates how the Business Roundtable—a consortium of chief executive officers from approximately one hundred and fifty of America's largest publicly and privately held corporations—holds a unique place in the history of business lobbying. It emerged in direct response to business's crisis of confidence and quickly became a powerful symbol of business leaders' desire to shape politics as well as an expression of their collective power. The first decade of the Roundtable's activism coincided with the dramatic shift of production away from the United States, the permanent decline of both productivity growth and unionization, and the supplanting of manufacturing by financial services as the nation's most important industry. The specific policy threats that drove the leaders of American big business to create the Business Roundtable reflected these shifting dynamics.

Keywords:   Business Roundtable, business lobbying, chief executive officers, crisis of confidence, productivity growth, unionization, American big business

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