High-profile departures from business advisory role shine light on other panel members and their beliefs
Donald Trump may think tackling climate change is bad for business. But business? Not so much.
Two of the USs biggest business leaders, Tesla founder Elon Musk and Disneys Robert Iger, have quit Trumps high-powered business advisory panel after the president pressed ahead with plans to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Trump created his business advisory panel shortly after his election as he sought to show how his administration would revamp the US by drawing on private sector expertise.
The departures are a disaster for the president. While Trump has claimed an economic rationale for the USs exit from the most ambitious climate change agreement in history, big business has cried foul.
To make matters worse, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein (who is not on Trumps business panel but knows a thing or two about making money) chose Thursday to launch his first tweet in condemnation of the move.
The two defections and Blankfeins message leave a lot of other people on Trumps high-powered business council in a very awkward position, given their own and their companies views on Paris and climate change.
Heres a sample of Trumps business team and the conflicts they now face.
Jamie Dimon chairman, president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase
The banking titan is no fan of regulation but even he clearly thinks some is necessary, especially when it comes to the environment. Some regulations quite clearly create a common good (e.g. clean air and water), he wrote in his 45-page letter to shareholders this year. Trump in the meantime has been frantically signing executive orders to repeal Obama-era air and water protections.
Trump may have missed Dimons buried critique, but he wont have missed Dimons signature alongside fellow councilmembers Musk and Iger, who joined a total of 30 other business leaders in sending a letter to the president that begins: We are writing to express our strong support for the United States remaining in the Paris climate agreement.
Based on our vast experience doing business all over the world, we believe there is strong potential for negative trade implications if the United States exits from the Paris agreement, they wrote.