[Marxism] Big business eases away from Trump
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
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
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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