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Photo: "Axios on HBO"

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark told me for "Axios on HBO" that she finds the Biden administration "easy to talk to. They're easy to reach. They're professional."

  • "But sometimes they give us bad news very efficiently and quickly," she said with a laugh.

The big picture: The chamber, the world’s largest business lobby, is having success under President Biden on promoting infrastructure spending, but opposes his planned tax increases.

  • "I think it comes down to having different economic philosophies, right?" she said. "The American business community believes this is a moment of growth."

Clark, who took over in March as the first woman CEO in the chamber's 109-year history, has made the worker shortage a top issue, and recently launched a program she calls "Operation Warp Speed for jobs."

  • "Look, this is the biggest economic challenge of our time," she said. "I went to Rehoboth over the weekend, took my teenager to the beach. And the number of restaurants, the number of small businesses that have restricted their hours, that aren't serving lunch, or aren't open at all because of the workforce shortage is tragic."

I asked Clark: In the past when people thought of the Chamber of Commerce, they thought of a boys' club, and now you're the boss. What's it been like to be in so many rooms full of white middle-aged dudes?

  • "Well, you know, I'm married to a white middle-aged dude, so they're kind of my people," she joked.

But she said the conversation now is that "as the world gets more diverse, ... what it's like to have all of these rooms open up. And there is strength in diversity."

  • "I think the Chamber has a long way to go," she added, "particularly in getting more Black and brown people to work here."
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Go deeper

Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo

Czech 42nd-ranked Marketa Vondrousova (L) shakes hands with Japan's Naomi Osaka after their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's singles third round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics after losing her Tokyo tennis tournament match 6-1, 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Of note: Japan's Osaka is the women's world No. 2, while is Vondrousova ranked No.42.

Drought pushes 2 major U.S. lakes to historic lows

Kayakers at a boat launch ramp Page, Arizona, on July 3, which was made unusable by record low water levels at Lake Powell as the drought continues to worsen near. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two significant U.S. lakes, one of which is a major reservoir, are experiencing historic lows amid a drought that scientists have linked to climate change.

What's happening: Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the U.S., has fallen 3,554 feet in elevation, leaving the crucial reservoir on the Colorado River, at 33% capacity — the lowest since it was filled over half a century ago, new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data shows.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.