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US Chamber enters hostile takeover by crony capitalists

America’s economic policies should serve American workers and consumers. While some in our current political landscape may decry that thinking as “nationalist” or “xenophobic,” it’s actually common sense — or at least it ought to be for those who supposedly care about America’s economic health. Unfortunately, one of the largest and most well-known business organizations in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, no longer sees it that way.

Like a case of institutional Stockholm Syndrome, the U.S. Chamber now embraces leftist, anti-free-market policies for the sake of gaining the acceptance of its abusers — the very individuals who are forsaking the policies most critical to the well-being of those the Chamber is supposed to represent. Instead of scoring elected officials on votes that strengthen American businesses, the U.S. Chamber now scores on subjective, unrelated factors such as “leadership” and “bipartisanship” — aligning with the now-trendy “ESG” factor on Wall Street for “Environmental, Social, and Governance” investing. Even business-owning elected officials now find themselves with lower Chamber scores than legislators who never operated a business and routinely vote against the best interests of the businesses in their district and the nation.

For example, while the Chamber issued a “Key Vote Alert” against the anti-free-market PRO Act, it still endorsed numerous candidates on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of it. The very same candidates, mostly Democrats, either voted for it in the past or co-sponsored the legislation. This year, the Chamber endorsed 16 Democrats who voted in favor of H.R. 1 and the PRO Act. Apparently, the bidding of congressional “leadership” and being “bipartisan” is more important than advocating for policies that actually benefit American businesses and consumers.

But why would an organization fervently support the same people who have vowed to defy its top priority? The only way to understand it is to look past the veneer of the Chamber’s stated mission and understand whose interests it now serves.

The reality is that there’s been a hostile takeover of the U.S. Chamber by the large, multinational corporations within its ranks. These companies benefit from massive government funding and subsidies, as well as the deterioration of a competitive business environment and free-market system because it provides cover for sending American jobs overseas and eliminates the rise of would-be competitors. It is, in essence, classic crony capitalism.

No greater example exists, perhaps, than massive energy companies racing to be the most “woke” to appease the environmental radicalism of Europe that’s increasingly embraced in America. Indeed, the largest oil companies in the world are now more inclined to run algae commercials, paint pretty pictures of the earth and use green logos produced on Madison Avenue than they are to defend the lifeblood of human flourishing — fossil fuels. They apologize for their business model and then push a carbon tax, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but to increase their ESG Scores and to — yes — gain a competitive advantage. In the end, they still want to make money but are happy to use regulatory tyranny to do it while crushing the small and mid-sized companies that make it work.

Predictably, the massive expansion of government regulation over the past decade resulted in windfall profits for behemoth corporations — increasing their ability to exert influence over the U.S. Chamber. In turn, smaller — or more principled — companies opposed to this approach refused to continue supporting an organization working against their interests. Good for them, but in some ways, this created a death spiral that further empowered these multinational conglomerates and increased the Chamber’s appetite for anti-competitive policies and “woke” corporate fads.

In short, the U.S. Chamber has abandoned its mission of advocating for pro-business policies here at home, and now kowtows to the leftist, cancel culture mob — advocating for anti-business, anti-American, and anti-consumer positions.

If the Chamber wants to commit suicide, that’s its business, but dragging the soul of American innovation and free-market prosperity into the abyss will devastate our competitive advantage over China and increase worldwide competition. Notably, state and local Chambers are doing their best to support real entrepreneurship, even as they’re often forced to work against their own nationally affiliated organization to do so. If this craven, self-serving, woke advocacy is the new brand of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, members would be much better served by not giving them a single dollar to destroy free enterprise, but instead contributing to causes and candidates that actually enhance a pro-business, pro-consumer and pro-America economy.

Scott Perry represents Pennsylvania 10th District and Chip Roy represents the 21st District of Texas.

Tags Chip Roy Scott Perry

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