Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 1.
Business tax reform should be high on the next president's agenda, said John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, an organization of chief executive officers. Engler also said infrastructure, immigration and workforce training are other important issues.
Engler, a former Michigan governor, also discussed the tone of the presidential campaign. "It's been pretty nasty. In the modern era, I don't think there's anything that compares to this," he said. "And there's nothing that compares to it in terms of weirdness, too. I'm like most Americans, I'll be really glad to have it over with in eight days."
But Engler is optimistic that the next president will find a more favorable environment in terms of bipartisan cooperation from Congress.
"I think the departure of Sen. Reid is going to be a real positive thing in the Senate, because we're very confident that Sen. Schumer is a man who can work across the aisle," said Engler. "We think Schumer and Sen. McConnell will have a better working relationship."
Engler made the comments after the Business Roundtable unveiled a proposal to modernize the shareholder proposal process. The group wants to update eligibility requirements for submitting shareholder proposals, including increasing disclosure requirements, and requiring a longer holding period for shareholders before a proposal can be submitted.
The Business Roundtable believes the changes, which would have to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, would result in long-term value creation, as opposed to short-term gains.
Engler, who spoke at the Nasdaq, also pointed out that the current system is creating unnecessary costs for businesses.