CEO Interview: Scott Davis of United Parcel Service

Free Trade, Freer Growth Scott DavisChairman and CEO, United Parcel Service For us, the biggest issue is the same as [...]

November 1 2010 by Dale Buss

Free Trade, Freer Growth

Scott Davis
Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service

For us, the biggest issue is the same as last year and the year before: global trade. Whenever you have a crisis, it’s natural for politicians to turn to protectionism, and that is still a concern. We’re a big proponent of free and open trade for the U.S. to compete in a global economy; in the U.S. we move 6 percent of the GDP every day in trucks and planes; and globally, it’s 2 percent.

Another huge issue is that, in the U.S. right now, we need to provide public-policy certainty to small business. We serve more than two million small-business customers in the U.S. alone, and a lot of owners have been sitting on their hands waiting for a better view of the rules of the road. This causes people not to hire employees as quickly. And when it comes to capital gains taxes, right now isn’t a good time to raise capital gains rates when you’re trying to get businesspeople to invest. We will see a similar environment next year to 2010. We see the U.S. economy continuing to grow at a moderate pace, probably below its potential. I don’t see a double-dip recession, just slower growth—and not enough to increase employment. Our company will grow a little faster than the economy. The strongest growth globally will be in Asia.

United Parcel Service, a $48 billion company headquartered in Atlanta, is the world’s largest package-delivery service.