According to the Financial Times, George Buckley, the head of 3M Co. (MMM), has launched a scathing attack on Barack Obama’s attempts to repair relations with companies, calling him “anti-business”.
Manufacturers could shift production out of the United States to Canada or Mexico as a result, warned Buckley, chief executive and chairman of 3M, one of the largest diversified manufacturers in the U.S.[via FT] “I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” he told the FT. “We know what his instincts are – they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”
Mr Buckley, who has run the country’s biggest industrial group since fiscal 2005, said: “There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”
He added: “Politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America.”
Mr. Obama has been accused by some observers of not being friendly to business. Relations between the banking industry, in particular, and the White House have been frosty from time-to-time. And certainly, references, for example, to investment bankers as “Wall Street fat cats who don’t get it” has not endeared the President to many in the business community.