[Marxism] Big business eases away from Trump

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 30 18:30:01 MST 2017

(posted to PEN-L by Marvin Gandall)

Unlike Trump’s base in the petty bourgeoisie and declining sectors of 
the working class, the dominant multinational corporations require the 
free flow of labour, capital, goods and services.

The business breach with the anti-immigrant position of the Trump 
administration extends across the spectrum from the liberal capitalists 
of Silicon Valley to the right-wing libertarians aligned with the Koch 
brothers. (For the latter, see:


*	*	*

Backlash from big business grows over Trump travel ban
By Courtney Weaver in Washington, Alistair Gray and Ed Crooks in New 
York and Leslie Hook in San Francisco
Financial Times
January 30 2017


The ranks of business leaders attacking Donald Trump’s immigration 
clampdown swelled on Monday as executives at several large US companies 
criticised the measures while Amazon said it was considering a legal 

Executives at the financial groups Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and 
MasterCard, the carmaker Ford and beverage group Coca-Cola risked a 
clash with the president as they criticised the restrictions on 
travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — one of the tech leaders who met Mr Trump before 
his inauguration — said the retailer was exploring legal options to 
oppose the move. The company also plans to support a lawsuit filed 
earlier on Monday by the state of Washington.

In an email to employees, Mr Bezos wrote: “No nation is better at 
harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It’s a distinctive 
competitive advantage for our country — one we should not weaken.”

Google employees staged a large-scale walkout on Monday at eight 
campuses across the US to express condemnation of the immigration order.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who came to the US as a refugee from 
Russia, and chief executive Sundar Pichai, both addressed crowds of 
employees holding signs such as “refugees welcome here” and “no ban no 

The restrictions have dented business optimism that Mr Trump’s 
presidency would be good for the US economy.

Michael Corbat, chief executive of Citigroup, wrote to staff: “We are 
concerned about the message the executive order sends, as well as the 
impact immigration policies could have on our ability to serve our 
clients and contribute to growth.”

Ajay Banga, chief executive of MasterCard, highlighted that he was an 
immigrant to the US. “I am deeply concerned, as many of you are, with 
this fracture in our society,” he said.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive, left a 
message in staff voicemail inboxes on Sunday saying it was a “fitting 
time” to reflect on the bank’s stated commitment to diversity.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola, said: “We do not 
support this travel ban or any policy that is contrary to our core 
values and beliefs.”

Several other executives made more guarded statements about the 
measures, highlighting the difficulty companies face in keeping 
employees and customers onside while also avoiding antagonising the new 
administration unduly.

In directly criticising Mr Trump’s policies, executives have locked 
horns with a president who has been more than willing to assail the 
private sector in personally tinged Twitter attacks.

The risks of challenging the administration in public was demonstrated 
by Starbucks. Howard Schultz, chief executive, said over the weekend 
that over the next five years the company planned to hire 10,000 
refugees in the 75 countries where it operates.

That provoked a social media campaign against it, and on Monday 
#BoycottStarbucks was the top trending topic on Twitter in the US.

Jeff Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, said in a post on his 
blog that the company would stand with its customers in the Middle East 
and “strive to find the balance between the need for security and the 
movement of law abiding people”.

He added that GE would “make our voice heard with the new administration 
and congress and reiterate the importance of this issue” but did not 
criticise the policy directly.

No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants

JPMorgan Chase said in a message from senior managers led by Jamie 
Dimon, chairman and chief executive, that it had been in touch with 
employees who were potentially hit by the move.

The bank added that some “outstanding employees” were immigrants. “Our 
country, economy and wellbeing are strengthened by the rich diversity of 
the world around us.”

Several tech executives, including Tim Cook at Apple, have already 
condemned the executive order. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, joined 
a demonstration at San Francisco International Airport.

Additional reporting by Ben McLannahan in New York, and Martin Arnold 
and Peter Campbell in London

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