US regulations hurt competitiveness-business group

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 8, 2010 9:36am EST

WASHINGTON Dec 8 (Reuters) - A prominent U.S. business group on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to consider modifying some provisions of a broad-based financial regulatory overhaul that they said hurt American competitiveness.

The Business Roundtable, which includes chief executives from top U.S. firms, said the Dodd-Frank bill passed earlier this year will be costly to implement and won't be effective.

"What we want to do is stop, take a breather, fix those things that won't work the way they were intended to do," Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications as well as chairman of the business group.

The Business Roundtable said it was initiating "a conversation" with the administration on five broad areas where it thinks changes are needed, including education and health-care regulation as well as Wall Street reform.

It cited concern about provisions in the Dodd-Frank bill for more tightly regulating derivatives markets. "Simply put, end-users should not be subjected to bank-like regulation that will harm, not promote, economic recovery," the group said in a summary of the areas that it feels need change.

Seidenberg has been critical of the Obama administration in the past, charging that its zeal for regulation was creating uncertainty that was making it harder for businesses to raise capital and create jobs.

He told a press conference on Wednesday that President Barack Obama deserves credit for his efforts in promoting freer trade and said he wanted the Business Roundtable's effort to be "a positive event" driven by a desire for more dialogue.

"We are trying to encourage the country to focus on what we need to do to create jobs," he said. (Reporting by Glenn Somerville, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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