With a new president comes new challenges for America’s business leaders, Detroit automakers included.
“Essentially he’s saying, ‘Look, we’re going to cut taxes and reform regulations, but I’m going to tell you how to run your business,’” Howes said.
Trump’s willingness to tweet at various companies, to intimidate them and “bend them to his will” does not simplify the issue, he said.
“This immigration ban has put these companies between a rock and a hard place,” Howes said. “If they speak out, they’re liable to get whacked by him rhetorically. And if they don’t, there are interest groups that are going to be asking questions, and potentially consumers – either B to B customers, other business customers that they work with, or their retail customers in the case of an auto company, for example.”
Earlier this week, Ford Motor Company did criticize Trump’s immigration actions. General Motors, on the other hand, has remained “mysteriously silent.”
Howes said Silicon Valley “tech heavy weights” criticized Trump’s actions on immigration as well. The actions, they said, complicate their ability to do business.
“And I don’t think that the administration necessarily thinks those things through, and frankly, probably doesn’t even care,” Howes said. “But these are global companies and Detroit is a global business town.”
For the full interview, including why Michigan won’t be in the best spot to compete with other states if Trump makes good on his promise to bring jobs back to the United States, listen above.