By on February 3, 2017

President Donald Trump is having a pow-wow with General Motors chief executive Mary Barra, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a slew of other top U.S. executives today. The business community finds itself increasingly divided over how to respond to certain policies, especially after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit the president’s advisory panel over an executive order that temporarily ceased travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Pressure from activists has forced numerous companies to take a public stance on the issue. Elon Musk in particular has begun to face harsh criticism for condemning the ban but continuing to work with the White House on business issues.

“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration,” Musk wrote in response over Twitter on Thursday evening. “I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting,” he said, adding, “But I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.”

Ford CEO Mark Fields has said his company does not support the travel ban either, due largely to its diverse workforce and company values, but claimed he has not lost faith in the President as a business leader. Fields is not believed to be present for Friday’s meeting.

Other advisory board members, including Barra, have not weighed in on the subject despite mounting public pressure to do so. Even some investors are starting to push leaders to position themselves strategically on the matter. “I certainly don’t think investors want people who run corporate America to be afraid of making smart business decisions,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

When he abandoned the panel, Uber’s Kalanick released a statement saying, “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president.”

Being slightly more diplomatic, Musk issued a tweet on Thursday stating, “In tomorrow’s meeting, I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy.”

After some business executives dropped out of Trump’s business luncheons, Trump reached out to other companies — most recently Harley-Davidson.

“A lot of countries are taking advantage of us,” Trump said during a press briefing with the H-D executives and union members on Thursday. “Thank you Harley-Davidson for building things in America.”

While Harley-Davidson has numerous foreign parts suppliers and factories producing completed motorcycles in India, all U.S. and Canadian-sold motorcycles are assembled within the United States.

[Image: Ad Meskens/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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78 Comments on “Industry CEOs Head Back to White House Amid Growing Pressure Over Travel Ban...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    “Pressure from activists has forced numerous companies to take a public stance on the issue. ”

    I get the impression that Trump simply does not care about what other people think because he is acting on the tenets and principles that got him elected into office by the Americans (and maybe some non-citizens) who voted for him.

    But this talking with Ms Barra a second time should cause some insecurity all-around as no doubt she will be pressured to bring back more jobs to America, maybe even from Canada.

    After all, there’s that $11Billion in bailout money that the Treasury wants to recoup during Trump’s first tenure in office.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “acting on the tenets and principles” of white supremacy sorry alt-right.

      “White supremacist Richard Spencer, who runs the National Policy Institute, a tiny white supremacist think tank, coined the term “Alternative Right” as the name for an online publication that debuted in 2010.”

    • 0 avatar

      He cares he wants to be loved you can watch his reactions when ever anyone says something critcal of him over the last 2 years. They seem to be controlling the rage he feels a little bit, otherwise I assume we would be seeing a few tweets directed at Uber.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        We should all keep in mind that Trump did not NEED this job as POTUS. I didn’t think he would win. I didn’t vote for him.

        He was rather better off before he assumed office and said he will give up his salary to the US Treasury, as will all the Billionaires and Millionaires of his cabinet. When was the last time that happened? Eisenhower? Jack Kennedy? I don’t know, that’s why I ask.

        These people he appointed do not need those p!ss-ant salaries. They took the jobs to effect change to better America (in their views).

        There are plenty of people in America who believe that America was the best it has ever been under the last administration.

        Trump said he felt motivated by all the bad that was happening to America and Americans over the past 16 years.

        And Trump is maximizing the new tech to by-pass the media and communicate directly with the masses. FDR and his fire-side chats. Other presidents used TV. Trump uses Twitter.

        I don’t understand why people protest and complain because the guy has only been in office two weeks today and has done nothing that his predecessors didn’t already do at an earlier time.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I see. So…Trump’s staff works for free.

          Good thing, then, because if these fools were actually drawing a paycheck, that’d be even more reason to pick up a sign and march.

          Sorry, HDC, “they work for free” doesn’t cut it for me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            They work for free because they don’t need the money, nor the prestige.

            I think it is a lovely gesture of love for Country.

            Remember Eisenhower’s Cabinet? All Millionaires and one plumber.

          • 0 avatar

            Having some business people on the cabinet is useful but also having people with a batter grasp of how the rest of the population is doing is useful as well. Also lots of putting foxes in the hen house with these picks. Time will tell how that goes.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            I think Trump’s salary is $1 a year. But he did charge US taxpayers for the use of his private jet for government functions. Similarly, any government functions on his properties are paid for by US taxpayers.

            Trump and his staff are not working for something so pedestrian as a paycheck. They are working for future opportunities such as book deals and speaking engagements. Rex Tillerson will get even wealthier when he makes oil deals with Russia. Betsy Devos has a lot of private interests that conflict with her job as education secretary (if confirmed).

            Yes, they are public servants, but they are really serving themselves.

        • 0 avatar

          HDC I agree he didn’t need the job. He wants it and has since at least the mid 80’s when he mentioned it during an interview. He has also said in the early 2000’s that he wanted to be the most loved president. I think this is legacy building he wants to be remembered and that’s important to him. He also wants to be remembered as serious and respected. When he views people as disrespecting him he has a long history of getting angry and starting petty fights, it’s just what he does. His ego can’t take the bruising.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Anyone’s ego can take a bruising, but Trump was encouraged by his closest friends and employees to run, and was further motivated by what he perceived was happening to America.

            Seems to me, a lot of voting Americans believed in what Trump believed and what he was promising.

            Trump is no Republican you know. Republicans had to hold their noses to vote for him.

            He may have run as a Republican, but he was elected as a Populist by Americans of all political persuasions.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Hey, don’t get me wrong, if they save the taxpayers a few bucks by not drawing a paycheck, then more power to ’em.

            But I’d rather be paying a tenth of a cent more in taxes, or whatever my share is, to cover the salaries of people who have clearly not skipped three days’ worth of their meds.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “but Trump was encouraged by his closest friends and employees to run”

            I wonder what kind of people befriend a malignant narcissist?

            I also wonder why a guy who says that he never voted for Trump turns into the dude’s biggest fanboy oompa loompa?

          • 0 avatar

            Howard Stern said yesterday that Trump ran to get more money out of NBC, and was actually depressed he won. Howard claims he told him not to run because he knew Donald couldn’t take all the negative press. Also claims Donald was pro choice up to the day he announced his run.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, Trump’s infrastructure spending will cost ~$1Trillion, by some estimates, and there just aren’t any offsets for something like that.

            We already know how “Shovel Ready” worked out. It didn’t.

            Don’t forget that just because Mitch McConnell is in Trump’s back pocket because of Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, that does NOT mean that all Republicans are in Trump’s pocket. Most don’t like him, like McCain, Graham, et al.

            For those Americans actually working and having to pay taxes, I do believe that you will get your wish. You will see increased tax revenues. Lower tax rates, but more tax receipts.

            I’m thinking like lowering the “having to file” IRS 1040 limit from 2016’s $23,200 to, let’s say $15K.

            With more people having to file, and withholding receipts of lower incomes, it will eat away at the 49% who don’t have to file now.

            Lotta changes coming up, I believe. That’s why we are restructuring so our TAXABLE income is like below $15K a year, or less.

            _____________

            Guys, I gotta go, Got to sign lost more papers this afternoon.

            Later

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            HDC, Trump is claiming that the private sector will put up the $1T, and that all Congress has to do is approve about $117B in corporate tax credits.

            In the real world, of course, that’s ridiculous. Public infrastructure is inherently unprofitable and giving a tax credit that makes it 15% cheaper isn’t going to change that.

            It’s normal Trump flimflammery no better than Trump University or Trump Steaks.

            The Democrats have said they’re ready and waiting to approve it, working with a minority of pork-friendly Republicans, whenever Trump actually decides to spend public money building infrastructure.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @mopar4wd – “Also claims Donald was pro choice up to the day he announced his run.”

            Yes, I’ve heard similar. Trump would have been happier losing the election by a narrow margin and then producing a TV show about his campaign. I think Milania would have been happier too.

            It’s not just the negative press — it’s the non-stop press. That will wear out anyone.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Just by the look on his face and change in demeanor on Nov. 9, it’s pretty clear Trump was far more enamored with the *idea* of being president than *actually* being president.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, only two weeks in to this presidency and it’s still too early to tell how things are going to unwind re infrastructure funding and ‘crat cooperation. I am very much in favor of infrastructure rebuilding.

            In my mind, Trump is going to have a hard time of it with both the Republicans and the ‘crats because he really isn’t one or the other.

            His management style will p!ss off some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time.

            Now that his 7-nation travel restriction has been stayed, we’re all going to see how determined Trump is in his actions, especially since controlling access to America is within the purview of all US presidents.

            But all this is temporary and if some Muslim terrorist slips in during this stay and wreaks havoc in America, Trump can always lay the blame on the stay.

            That said, I hope he keeps his promises. Nothing could be more politically suicidal than for Trump to back away from his promises to the people who elected him.

        • 0 avatar
          PandaBear

          These are people who want to manipulate the market because they had a stake. Like all politicians, they’ll advertise as patriotic, but in reality they are just trying to skew the system their way.

          Salary? Politicians pay way more campaigning, and salary is not what they are looking for, kick back and power are.

        • 0 avatar
          Robert.Walter

          People like this working for free are not really above suspission.

          Note: last word was a typo but I’m not going to correct it as it seems to fit pretty well. LoL.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          HDC,
          What bullsh!t, “He doesn’t need this job.”

          He really needs this job to sate his personality disorder. He genuinely has Narcisstic Personality Disorder. So money means less to him than him thinking all consider him exceptional.

          If anyone refuses to grant or support his superiority he enters into narcisstic rages, to the point of attempting to justify his stance or fictional beliefs. He even used his inaugeration crowd size to support his position with world leaders.

          Trump is a beanhead who is delusional regarding how much real power and authority he has externally, let alone within the US. He will fnck the US.

          I watch with sadness the decline of a great power so quickly. Remember I’m also an American.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            You don’t know any of this. You’re just tuned in to Fake News 24/7.

            Are you a qualified psychologist? Have you evaluated Trump under clinical circumstances?

            Or do you just hate the guy because he does not fit your liberal beliefs?

            Here’s a news flash! Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Greens, many of them hate him too, and he hasn’t done anything yet because he doesn’t even have his cabinet in place.

            Most surprising were the number of Hispanics and Blacks who voted for him.

            I didn’t vote for Trump. But a great number of people believed what he had to say. Even minorities.

            I missed what he had to say on the campaign trail because I was touring NW Europe for 6+months.

            In Europe there were a lot of people making fun of Trump in a variety of languages, but that did not keep him from being elected by the American voters.

            I’m not defending Trump. He’s not MY guy. But the irrational behavior of some groups protesting his election is truly crazy. The mere mention of his name causes heads to explode!

            The guy hasn’t done anything yet.

            That’s why I say that I’m afraid that there is much more to come.

            I just hope that it does not negatively affect me and mine, like the last guy did.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      There’s no reason to care what liberals think or want. It’s time to steamroll over them. The reason for electing Trump and the Republicans was to defeat the Left and throw a monkey wrench into its agenda.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Seems to me you’re paying a steep price for the “pleasure” of sticking your middle finger up at me. But you keep it up. We’ll see you in 2018.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “There’s no reason to care what liberals think or want.”

          Yeah, that’s no way to be. That would be like the first two years of the last guy who was in office where the ‘crats didn’t give a hoot about the conservatives.

          We all know how that turned out, don’t we?

          No, the key to successful governance is to the King Solomon approach. Split the baby, and see who suffers the most.

          We’ll see the results of the Trumpian-rule in 2018, like we did with the last guy in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

          If Trump doesn’t work out, he will lose seats in the House and Senate, and at State Legislatures, like the last guy did.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            HDC,
            Like a business the US is a brand name (so to speak). The better the brand name the better the “business”.

            Trump is trashing the American brand name. Also, like brand names, ideals like, trust, reliability, integrity, etc makes or breaks the “brand”.

            Trump is acting as if the American brand has a momopoly on “business”.

            The reality he must face is the US is competing with 200 or more alternative brands.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Trump is trashing the American brand name.”

            That’s your view of the facts. Maybe people who voted for Trump think the American brand name was sullied by the previous guy.

            What these unhappy haters need to do is suck it up and deal with the fact that Trump is the prez of the US, just like the last guy, and the guy before that, and the guy…..

            I’m interested in what sch!t is going to hit the fan when he gets his whole cabinet in place. I bet it is going to take our breaths away.

            This guy has been going WOT since day one.

            Yeah! Scary! ’cause we ain’t see nuttin’ yet.

            Much of what Trump does will affect our shared interest in the auto industry and our love of cars.

            I’d like to see BIG V8s make a comeback, like the 455, the 500, done in all aluminum with DOHC and 32 or 40 valves!

            None of these high-revving nervous squirrel motors.

            Imagine a 4-banger RAM 1500!? Disgusting!

      • 0 avatar

        The issue with this is that in many ways Trump is a liberal and has been most of his life. The Dems only disagree with him slightly more then GOP. So we have to wait and see now if they will go along with his ideas for the sake of some movement somewhat in their direction, or we are stuck in a 3 way battle of government D vs R vs Pres.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          All true! Trump was a social liberal when he supported the Clintons.

          He was a RINO when he supported Romney, but his money was good.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Name one issue on which Trump has taken any action friendly to liberals since he took office.

          .
          .
          .

          I’m still waiting…

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            Dal :
            He has been in office for a few weeks…. what the hell do you want ???

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            xtoyota, I can understand the insecurity because I’m scared sch!tless about what lurks just over the horizon.

            We know Trump loves cars and owns some very exotic stuff.

            But does he love his cars enough to overturn CAFE and all the crap-mandates levied by the previous DOT?

            And how does Elaine Chao feel about the autoworld? Will she allow for higher speeds on the Interstates, like 85mph, or 90mph? Our cars can do it safely these days.

            And Scott Pruitt about those wacko EPA mandates?

            What if they break against the coal-burner pickup trucks?

            What if they decide “performance” is not what is in the best interest of ALL Americans? Even the performance-loving, Drifting CA ‘crats.

            That would be a disaster for Big Iron lovers like me and Drifters alike.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “There’s no reason to care what liberals think or want. It’s time to steamroll over them. The reason for electing Trump and the Republicans was to defeat the Left and throw a monkey wrench into its agenda.”

        The ultimate lefty Michael Moore had said that those who voted for Trump wanted to throw a hand grenade into the system.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        2manycars, that is not a very good attitude. The problem right now is that the “other side” has zero influence and power. America needs a balance of power because frankly, a full on conservative or liberal agenda is not in the best interest of the country. It may be in the favor of the right at the moment, but it could just as easily been the other way around. And if you are really honest about it. T- Rump is hardly a conservative. What conservative pushes for import taxes and protectionist policy? With one more possible SCOTUS appointee, he could swing the country hard right for, well, the rest of my useful
        life, but he will be gone in four years and the “real” conservatives will take full advantage of that.

        Regarding Harley Davidson, has anybody ever check the imported content lately? H-D is much best described as an American assembler, not a manufacturer. A lot of God Bless America Americans would probably be quite disappointed in the amount of outsourcing found in their two wheeled machines.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          goldenhusky2,
          The real problem now is what little power you described is diminishing at an accelerated pace under Trump.

          For the US to maintain influence globally it must engage others’ in a more accepting way.

          As I’ve pointed out previously the US proportionaly represents 1/3 the influence it had a few decades or so ago. Bad mouthing other nations in an attempt to gain more influence will not work. This is how Trump is operating. He is alienating his global allies.

          The US needs external trade to improve its position and influence. The US (Trump) will not achieve this by bullying others. He has thrown the best possible position the US had in empowering the US globally. The TPP (Pacific Trade Deal). Now China will step in. This will also give the Chinese more ammo to justify its Sth China Sea stance. They will say why is the US interested in the Sth China Sea when 95% of all trade that moves through is Chinese?

          Just having more and bigger guns isn’t answer. This only has a negative effect.

          The US reached its zenith after WWII. Back then it was in a much stronger position to influence global trade. This is not the case now. This is why Trump is picking on Mexico, a regional player.

          He will have difficulty reining in the Chinese. So, Trump has now moved the US as more a regional player than a global player when it could of been otherwise …. so easily.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “I get the impression that Trump simply does not care about what other people think because he is acting on the tenets and principles that got him elected into office by the Americans (and maybe some non-citizens) who voted for him.”

      Considering that this particular action is a) morally bankrupt, and b) incredibly foolish, you might actually be taking a backhanded swipe at Trump’s supporters.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I’m not a Trump supporter. I didn’t vote for him. And it remains to be seen how well his policies will help or hurt America.

        We already know how well the last guy in office did and there is no way to go but UP for Trump.

        But for the people who supported Trump, he can do no wrong.

        The rest just have to suck it up and deal with it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I know you’re not a Trump supporter, HDC. Frankly, there are too many of them who take the same “if it p*sses liberals off, then it’s fine by me” attitude of that guy above.

          No way to run a country.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            There are worse ways. The only problem is that the identity-politics-addled liberals today are crying about many of the same policies they’ve either supported or ignored in the not-too-distant past.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Oh, Todd, identity politics are just fine by you…you just like a different identity. Like identifying “liberals” in one big pile, so it’s easier to make fun of them.

            It’s certainly a lot easier than having a real political ideology of your own.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Sure. Why else would industry CEOs care? To propitiate activists?

    And it makes sense that like Pakistanis others from the same global gulch would try to make themselves more attractive than now-established and more expensive Indians.

    *fap*
    My reply got nothing to reply to! Wuh happen?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      OMP, your inappropriate comment was deleted, as per understanding among the commenters established early last year.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Oh, I’m fine with that, HDC.

        What *does* continue to perplex me is the simple fact that given how inevitably shaded and dark the center of interest in your upskirts must be, what means you use to gain anything like scintillating resolution.

        Back in film days the answer was always Leica glass for penetrating (unnh!) shadow details. What have you found equivalent in today’s dismally digital age?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          You obviously weren’t part of last year’s discussion about trying to improve the ttac experience for the visitors.

          It’s true that I’ve been gone a little while, but I noticed right away the better tone of the comments. Really great!

          But those individuals who persist with their caustic and abrasive comments still end up posting and talking to themselves, without others engaging them.

          I think the boys and girls at ttac deserve credit for this improvement.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            HDC,
            I’m one of those people. But I’ve don’t recollect having a comment removed. I do believe TTAC’s moderaters are well balanced.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Much ado about nothing.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Ford CEO Mark Fields has said his company does not support the travel ban either, due largely to its diverse workforce and company values, but claimed he has not lost faith in the President as a business leader.”

    The difference between a brown-noser and a sh!thead is depth perception!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou,
      He’s sitting on the fence.

      If big business challenges Trump and move jobs off shore to prove a point, Trump will fold.

      Most leaders in business see what or the dream Trump has sold to the people never existed.

      Oddly it surprises me to think people voted for him.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    I swore that the next time you mentioned that racist, sexual predator who took over the WH after losing the election… regardless of context… it would be the last time I ever visit TTAC.

    I’m done. Goodbye forever.

  • avatar

    Carlyle Danny’s girl Friday is over her head already. Trump will sense that in short order.

  • avatar

    just got a call from Dave in Texas who told me about this guy who went to the White House and asked the guard if he could see President Obama. the sentry replied, “Barack Obama is no longer President sir”. so the man left only to return the next day and again ask for an audience with Mr. Obama. once more he is told “Barack Obama is no longer President sir”. after a week the soldier inquired “Why do you show up everyday with the same question?”. the man grinned and stated “It sounds so great when you say that!”. just then a Secret Service man blurted out “See you tomorrow!”

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    So why is Mary Barra getting a free pass from Trump on importing Buicks from China? If all the “thin end of the wedge” moves that should be the most offensive!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Industry CEOs don’t really care one bit about this for their business interests, it’s just most of them have to pretend to (so they won’t be called a racist) or like to dabble in politics themselves and use their position as activists.

    General Motors bottom line is not being effected by refugee halts, it’s absolutely silly.

    Most of these countries that were issued a travel ban were actively being bombed by the US military under the Obama Administration. Where was the freakout then?

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Where was the freakout then?”

      There was none. That’s why the left is a bunch of hypocrites.

      There was also no outrage when Obama terminated the long standing “wet foot, dry foot” policy on Cuban refugees, sending thousands of boat people back to Cuba.

      The left (not liberals) believe that they have a monopoly on good intentions; everything Trump does must be malevolent, and must be opposed with riots in the streets.
      .
      .

      • 0 avatar
        quasimondo

        Is this what you bring up now that that story about Iraqi refugees bring barred from entering back in 2011 was thoroughly debunked?

        Oddly enough, not even the Cubans in America were upset about the end of the wet foot/dry foot policy. With the normalisation of relations between the US and Cuba (along with the end of travel restrictions against them) why would this be worth protesting?

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        So Master Baiter, refugees are bad, bad, bad (unless they’re from Cuba)? Talk about hypocrisy.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jacob,
      What you will find is the US will become less attractive to innovative and business minded people.

      There is talk of this already.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I didn’t like Obama’s use of EOs when he was president and I don’t like Trump’s use of EOs now.

    I didn’t like the Republicans refusal to vote on Obama’s court nomination and I don’t like the Democrats vow that they will do the same to Gorsuch now.

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