Chief executive officers from more than 1,100 US companies, including Boeing, Coca-Cola and Caterpillar, reportedly have written an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump, warning of “an urgent need to restore faith in our vital economic and government institutions” after the election.
While global business executives fear threats to trade in the wake of Trump’s victory, others see opportunities in possible tax cuts and deregulation.
In the chief executives’ letter, prepared for whichever candidate won the presidential election, they say they are committed to reuniting the country “after this particularly difficult election,” and warn that businesses and communities cannot prosper “in a country that is divided and distrustful,” the Financial Times reported.
Other CEOs who signed the letter, organized by the National Association of Manufacturers, include the chief executives of Pfizer, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Eli Lilly and Cargill.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon called on employees, business leaders and government officials to work together on solutions to the United States' problems on Wednesday, in response to the surprise presidential election results.
In a memo to employees, Dimon cited a "deep desire for change" and a frustration with the economy among the electorate, which voted Republican candidate Donald Trump into office, Reuters reported.
"We need to listen to those voices," Dimon wrote, calling on leaders across public, private and nonprofit sectors to come together.
JPMorgan will continue its own work on public policy issues and economic challenges globally, he said.
US businesses and industry groups were generally not supportive of Trump. Not one chief executive of the 100 largest companies in the US had given money to Trump’s campaign by August, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Companies including United Technologies and Ford were attacked by Trump during the campaign for relocating production out of the US to Mexico and other countries with lower labor costs, and every business with an international supply chain or market is nervous about potential disruption from new trade barriers.
Trump’s proposed cut in federal business taxes to 15 percent, from the current 35 percent, should bolster all businesses, many experts predict.
“The big US banks are likely to see Trump’s victory as a positive. He has sent mixed signals on financial regulation, but said he wants a policy that is “close to dismantling” Dodd-Frank, the 2010 Wall Street reform act. That law imposed a host of tough rules on the banks and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has held them to higher regulatory standards,” the FT reported.
Many of Trump’s policy statements so far have been vague and open to interpretation, and he has been known to swerve on positions radically.
For many on Wall Street, "a Hillary Clinton victory was expected to provide more immediate clarity about key business-related policy initiatives in a new administration. That is despite that on the campaign trail, she has targeted big businesses—including pharmaceuticals firms—as ripe for scrutiny," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump, meanwhile, has been more outspoken about the pitfalls of global trade deals, and has vowed to roll them back. That has spooked global executives and industry officials who depend on them.
“Trump has said he’s going to tear up Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act; I don’t think he can do either,” John Stadtler, head of the financial services practice at PwC in New York, told the FT.
“I don’t think he’ll be able to undo the CFPB either, but he will certainly drive change.”
A similar feeling is felt across the globe.
“We hope President Trump is more nuanced than candidate Trump,” Jake Parker, vice president of China operations of the U.S.-China Business Council, told WSJ.com.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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