Dimon's Political Stature Grows as He Takes Business Roundtable Chair

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Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on Wednesday was named chairman of the Business Roundtable, further cementing himself as a key intermediary between the incoming Trump administration and the business community.

The announcement came less than a week after Dimon was named co-chair of a White House panel on job creation, which will advise President-elect Donald Trump on economic policy. Steven Schwarzman will serve as co-chair.

The selection puts Dimon, a vocal advocate for the industry, at the helm of one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington. He will serve a two-year term as chairman, ending on Dec. 31, 2018.

He succeeds Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, who plans to retire from the Peoria, Ill., company at the end of the year.

"With a new president and Congress soon to take office, there is a real opportunity for the Business Roundtable to be a positive influence and show how business plays a critical role in this growth," Dimon said in a statement announcing the new role.

Dimon also said the group can help to "bridge the divide between political parties," with the goal of fostering economic mobility and economic growth.

The Business Roundtable is made of up 192 CEOs from a range of industries. Dimon joined the group in 2009, and previously served on the executive committee.

A spokesman for JPMorgan said that the new role has no impact on his job at JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank by assets.

The announcement shows that Dimon's stature in the nation's capital is growing. His name was floated as a potential pick for Treasury secretary under the Trump administration, a job that ultimately went to Steven Mnuchin, a former banker and Trump's top fundraiser during his long-shot campaign.

Speaking at an industry conference Tuesday, Dimon said that he was not "suited" for the Treasury spot and that he had always planned to stay as head of JPMorgan.

Still, Dimon has been an outspoken voice on broader economic policy, including issues ranging from international trade to tax policy. In an op-ed for The New York Times this summer, for instance, he called on policymakers to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to supplement the wages of lower-income workers.

"I want to help the lower-wage people – I want to help them more than I want to help you," Dimon said Tuesday, speaking to an audience member at an investor conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

Dimon also said that he is best suited for influencing policy from outside the government by remaining in the private sector.

"I want to do my share to help America get better," Dimon said. "I might even be able to do that better from the outside than the inside."

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