President Trump formed the Council in January to hear top business leaders’ advice on revitalizing American manufacturing. The Strategic and Policy Forum was a group of business executives who were tapped to advise the President on the economy.
Dow chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris served as the chair of the President’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. He indicated that it was the CEOs, not the President, who ended the effort. In a statement, Liveris said he took on the role “because I believe that a strong manufacturing economy is good for America and is the best way to ensure its benefits are shared with every segment of society.”
In talks with The White House, Liveris said he indicated that, in the current environment, it was no longer possible to conduct productive discussions under the auspices of the Initiative “…disbanding the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative was the right decision.”
But Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, an NGO, noted that the collapse of the CEO councils was not due to an outbreak of conscience among industry leaders.
“Instead, it is public pressure—pressure for the CEOs to evidence a measure of decency—that is driving them off the councils,” he told Politico. “That’s not exactly the most inspiring example of moral leadership. No profiles in courage here.”
But it does demonstrate the power of public opinion.
With tensions rising at home and around the world, we can only wonder what comes next. The majority of Americans voted for the other candidate, business leaders are jumping ship and more than a few cracks are appearing in Republican solidarity. Buckle up; the coming weeks and months, and perhaps years, are going to be interesting in Washington, the US and maybe, the world.