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While not specifically coming out against some of the president’s favored policies — such as a hike in the nation’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, part of a larger strategy to tackle income inequality — the two business leaders made clear that overall economic growth is much more important.

“What’s really critical here, what is really relevant, is to get the U.S. economy growing,” Mr. Stephenson said. “I can’t think of anything that would address this issue [of income inequality] quite like that.”