Colorado Capitol Report

Colorado Chamber Meets with White House, Trade Ambassador: Provided Input on Trade, Tariffs Prior to US-Mexico-Canada Agreement


Colorado Chamber Meets with White House, Trade Ambassador: Provided Input on Trade, Tariffs Prior to US-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Seven members of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce board directors joined Federal Policy Director, Leah Curtsinger on a lobbying mission to Washington, D.C. September 24-27.  The delegation of business leaders, who represented a cross section of Colorado industries ranging from manufacturing to construction and utilities to financial services, met with a host of our nation’s most influential decision makers.  This Chamber delegation provided insight into Colorado’s economic needs and a unified message from the business community that Colorado is open for business and is focused on promoting innovation and the economic stability of our state.

The Chamber’s agenda included high-profile meetings with White House officials, as well as EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Trade Ambassador C.J. Mahoney, with the purpose of bringing a common-sense Colorado perspective to the table while conveying the need to have pragmatic regulations; a meaningful, all-of-the-above energy policy; workforce development policies that truly meet the needs of both employees and employers; and the desired goal to have fair trade for the many Colorado businesses that market and source worldwide.

In one of the timelier meetings, the Chamber met with U.S. Trade Ambassador Mahoney, as well as the lead negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), John Helle just three days before the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was reached.  During that meeting, Colorado business leaders raised the need to include Canada in negotiations to revise NAFTA, emphasizing that Canada is Colorado’s number one trading partner).  The Chamber delegation also shared survey results and testimonials from Colorado manufacturers on the effects of tariffs and trade disparities on Colorado companies.

Key to Colorado’s state interests, the Chamber also did a joint meeting at the Department of the Interior (DOI) with Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO-3) and Deputy Secretary, David Bernhardt, to voice strong support for a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) move to Colorado, and an openness to moving other agencies under the DOI umbrella to our state.

EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler was keen to hear more about Colorado business opposition to 2,500 foot setbacks (Prop. 112), particularly from Colorado’s manufacturers and builders.  While oil and gas operators would face a “no drill zone” from setbacks, businesses would consequently face a “no build zone” in the fastest growing economy in the country.

Additionally, while the Chamber is active in filing public comments to address federal regulations that impactColorado businesses, Wheeler tasked our delegation with encouraging more public comments and participation:  “Whether supporting, constructive or opposing comments, we need your input to ensure our process works properly and we’re getting on-the-ground insight from all sides.”

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) spent time with the Chamber’s delegation to hear more about current priorities and concerns for businesses representing industries across Colorado.  Among the key topics discussed were energy policy and trade disparities, and specifically, how to address intellectual property theft originating in countries such as China.

Feedback from Chamber leaders was positive in relaying the influence that this mission had, and the importance of ensuring that voices of the Colorado business community are heard in Washington:

“The current topic of trade and tariffs made our US Trade Representative and White House meetings especially relevant.  It helped me understand our policy goals, the concerns of business and the potential impact of trade and tariff policy on our Chamber members.” – Gene Sullivan, Regional Vice President/Manager, Commercial Banking; CO, WY, MT for Wells Fargo


Colorado Chamber Board of Directors Appoints New Policy Council Leadership

This week, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce appointed new policy council chairs to lead two of the Colorado Chamber’s five standing policy councils.  We are pleased to announce that Barbara Lussenhop, Senior Manager West Region, State Government Affairs at Genentech Inc., will serve as our Health Care Council Chairwoman while Ryan Woods, Tax Policy & Tax Planning Consultant with Xcel Energy will serve as our Tax Council Chairman.  We are thrilled to have both of these individuals lead these councils based on their years of expertise in the tax and health care policy areas.

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce has five standing policy councils that review legislation for determining the Chamber’s positions or to recommend changes to legislation.  The councils also review and engage on agency regulatory actions.  The policy councils include:

  • Energy & Environment Council
  • Tax Council
  • Health Care Council
  • Labor & Employment Council
  • Governmental Affairs Council
  • Federal Affairs Council

To participate on a council please contact Laura Moss at lmoss@cochamber.com.

Thank you!


Join Us Thursday, October 25th for Colorado's 2018 Political Playoff

***The Deadline to Register is October 16th***

Polis (D) and Stapleton (R)-Governor
Brauchler (R) and Weiser (D)- Attorney General

Westin Denver Downtown, Confluence Ballroom
1672 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80202

Registration & Networking: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Luncheon & Program: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Please visit our website for more information or to register


Final Episode of the Candidate Evangelist, "Recovery"


ALERT: October Fed Council to be Pushed to November 27th, 11:45am to 1:30pm

Please note that the scheduled Oct. 16th Federal Policy Council has been MOVED to November 27th for a SOON-to-be-ANNOUNCED tour.