Obama Woos CEOs as Frictions Ease

December 13, 2010  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — President Barack Obama will convene a one-day summit of corporate chief executives Wednesday as part of a renewed White House effort to build support among business leaders for his economic agenda.  Chief executives from Google Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., International Business Machines Corp., American Express Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Pepsico Inc. have been invited to the meeting at Blair House, next to the White House, to discuss trade, tax, regulatory issues and the deficit.  The administration wants to persuade U.S. companies to unleash some of the $1.93 trillion in cash and other liquid assets in their treasuries. Cash as a share of total assets is at the highest level it has been in a half-century, the Federal Reserve said last week. Mr. Obama wants the nation’s biggest companies to invest that money in expansion and new hires in the U.S. But business leaders are slow to do so, in part due to uncertainty over taxes and coming regulations connected to the health-care overhaul and other initiatives.

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