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Source: Wall Street Journal

The largest U.S. business lobby forecasts economic growth of 3.2% in 2011 and says the U.S. economy would create between 2.4 million to 2.6 million net new jobs during the year.

Tom Donohue, president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sounded a "cautiously optimistic" note that the economic recovery would continue in the coming year.

But he then laid out a raft of potential regulatory and political obstacles facing the country, pledging to place the group's lobbying efforts behind attempts to stem the tide of red tape facing U.S. business owners.

He made it clear that despite recent attempts to thaw the group's relationship with the Obama administration, the Chamber would continue to vigorously oppose measures potentially damaging to industry.

Donohue said the Chamber supports efforts by House Republicans to repeal the health-care law, as well as moves to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

He said it was essential that end user firms are still able to use derivatives to legitimately manage the risk they face.

"We cannot allow this nation to move from a government of the people to a government of the regulators," Donohue said in an address at the Chamber's Washington headquarters, across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Donohue singled out public sector unions for pushing an "extreme agenda" that has worked to "sabotage the nation's trade agenda."

Welcoming steps taken by the Obama administration to finalize the free-trade pact with South Korea, Donohue said Congress and the administration must "work urgently" to pass that deal and other outstanding free-trade deals with Colombia and Panama.

He said the Chamber would raise the idea of scrapping tariffs on all goods traded between the U.S. and the European Union, saying this could increase trans-Atlantic trade by more than $100 billion by 2015.

Donohue called on the administration and Congress to reduce spending this year to begin reining in federal budget deficits. He said the group would support overhauls of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, saying such steps are necessary to tackle federal spending.