A common business agenda for the Great Lakes.

 
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Leading business organizations from swing states in the 2008 presidential election have come together in an unprecedented manner to endorse a plan for job creation and business expansion. Nearly 30 chambers of commerce, representing over 94,000 job providers, formed the Great Lakes Region Coalition. This grassroots initiative is promoting a federal legislative agenda for growing the Midwest region's economic competitiveness and performance.

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The coalition includes important political battleground states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The Great Lakes Region also has a significant impact on the entire nation's economic health. It comprises 33 percent of the nation's population and 32 percent of the Gross National Product.

Collectively, these states are some of the most politically unpredictable and economically challenged in the union. While the presidential candidates are fighting hard to win the electoral votes here, they should be equally tenacious in their willingness to create more jobs and grow the economies in this important region.

This is not just another laundry list of pet projects states routinely ask of Washington D.C. These specific recommendations are necessary steps the federal government must take if businesses in the...

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