Tags: manufacturing | ceos | opportunity | grow | economy

Manufacturing CEOS Missed an Opportunity to Grow Our Economy

Manufacturing CEOS Missed an Opportunity to Grow Our Economy
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By    |   Friday, 20 October 2017 03:47 PM

Suppose you were tormented by a bully for eight years, and then that bully disappeared. You would be elated, right?

Not if you were on President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, and were bullied by President Obama over eight years because he had very little empathy for U.S. companies, entrepreneurs or small businesses.

Now you have a champion in the White House who understands the challenges CEOs face to grow their business and our economy and is ready to protect their interests. In fact, Mr. Trump is the most pro-business president since Ronald Reagan, under whose watch the economy soared.

So it baffled me when in August, the CEOs on the American Manufacturing Council quit because they put political correctness over policy.

They squandered an opportunity to drive policies that would spur business growth and create jobs for many years to come. As a manufacturer myself, I would gladly have served on the council even if I didn’t agree with everything that Mr. Trump advocates. It’s a mistake to let politics trump policies.

Let’s face it, CEOs have looked like heroes because their companies are growing, their stock value is rising, and investors are seeing returns that should be the envy of the world. It seems all CEOs have to do these days is sit back and watch the money roll in under President Trump’s leadership.

But instead of sitting down with the president to have one-on-one conversations, they quit before they could share their concerns with a president likely to finally listen to and understand them.

Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, and co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board, was a guest on my Made in America radio show.

According to Cooper, CEOs quitting the Manufacturing Council is an example of someone cutting off their nose to spite their face. They missed a rare opportunity to meet with a president who was actually interested in advocating on their behalf. They could have had meaningful discussions about ways that the government could help them succeed.

“Lots of people were looking for solutions to the anti-business tactics of the Obama administration. They were looking for a signal that things had changed, and Trump looked like that solution. Entrepreneurs, in particular, were looking for a sign that they could get off the sidelines and could start investing in their business. When the economy starts recovering, it raises all ships,” maintained Cooper.

Horace had it right. The stock market is up 23 percent since the election, meaning that companies were making more money and rewarding stockholders, employees and customers. Yet, they turned their back on this president who has made them look like geniuses.

It’s not just about business. Look at how the average American is benefitting from a dramatic rise in their 401ks. They are gaining value, and pension funds are growing. But Trump gets no credit for any of this.

We have a pro-business president in power. He’s reducing regulations and promoting cheaper energy. But the mainstream media is driving the discussion and ignoring Trump’s achievements. Regulations are being pared back and companies have an ever increasing cheaper source of energy, spurring profitability.

And it doesn’t stop there. Amazon has raised more money in a bond sale than the GDP of Belarus. And Apple stock had hit an all-time high, while Taiwanese’s Foxconn that produces the IPhone is opening a second U.S. manufacturing facility.

Social correctness can’t replace the policies that will build the American economy.

People may have forgotten that Ronald Reagan also convened a council of American CEOs. Deborah L. Wince-Smith was elected President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness. Founded in 1986, this unique coalition of leading CEO's, university presidents and labor union leaders put forth actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.

Read this carefully. It was headed by a woman. And it had labor at the table with CEOs and academia. It’s easy to see why no one quit a council whose goal was to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.

In 1988, during the Reagan administration, Wince-Smith developed President Reagan’s 1988 Competitiveness Initiative, and led the implementation of executive orders and new laws that transformed federal technology transfer policy for U.S. industries, national laboratories and universities.

She also was appointed as the first Assistant Director of International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Ms. Wince-Smith was the architect of the landmark 1988 Head of Government Science and Technology Agreement with Japan, and developed ministerial bilateral collaborations with China, India and Latin America.

Any CEO or business leader reading this should be ashamed that they couldn’t come together to accomplish something that hasn’t occurred since 1988. Giving of yourself to help America is a moral responsibility.

Thomas Edison tried 1,000 times before he invented the lightbulb. Here’s what he had to say about giving up: “Many of life’s failures are people, who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Neal Asbury is chief executive of The Legacy Companies.

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Suppose you were tormented by a bully for eight years, and then that bully disappeared. You would be elated, right?
manufacturing, ceos, opportunity, grow, economy
Friday, 20 October 2017 03:47 PM
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