President Biden’s State of The Union Address focused on several Salt Lake Chamber priorities we have championed for the state. Utah’s economic example continues to lead the nation and the President echoed many principles we share and advocate. Foremost among these was his call to usher in new investment for emerging technologies and American manufacturing. Utah is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance and business leaders are focusing on making our state the ‘Crossroads of Innovation.’

The President’s pivot away from unfunded mandates and increased entitlement spending toward investment and renewal centered around work and building up national capacity was a welcome message, as was his pledge to tackle energy prices and the inflation adversely affecting individuals and families. The Chamber has led on these issues, including participation in a shipping coalition with partners to combat supply chain breakdowns and price effects felt here at home, and if accomplished, as the president outlined, action in these areas will help all Utahns.

In addition to these important measures, the Chamber also supports serious focus on rebuilding infrastructure in Utah and across the nation, and we look forward to bipartisan action on this initiative. In many ways, Utah remains a model for working together, balancing the budget, keeping regulation low, and focusing on innovation and investment for the future, and we hope this pattern can provide an example for real progress in Washington, D.C.

The President’s commitment to funding law enforcement and a return to community-oriented policing will protect cities and communities, and if his words are followed by resolute action, it will improve public safety and support continued economic growth. Throughout Utah, our businesses continue to put public safety first, and individuals and families reap the associated benefits, economically and otherwise.

Finally, President Biden’s comments regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the potential geopolitical fallout — from Washington, D.C., to Moscow, to Beijing — is something we are watching closely. There is the obvious concern about energy supplies and prices, and the effect on inflation and supply chains around the world.  We also recognize economic and geopolitical potential threats from China — our largest trading partner — and its influence on reshaping the world. With this in mind, Utah companies continue to diversify their export maps, we are growing our manufacturing base, broadening our supply channels, and leading the nation when it comes to economic diversification.

Through all of this, the Salt Lake Chamber will continue to stand watch and work with members, Utah businesses, our congressional delegation and state leaders, as well as national and international partners to overcome challenges as they arise, embrace opportunities as they present themselves, and improve the lives of Utah businesses, as well as the individuals and families they support.