WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump has named Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon along with other business leaders to a newly established President’s Strategic and Policy Forum to help carry out his Made in America pledge.
“This forum brings together ceo’s and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” Trump said Friday. “My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating and expanding right here in America.”
The business leaders were tapped for their perspectives and “unique vantage points in the private sector on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation and productivity.”
The forum, which will be chaired by Stephen A. Schwartzman, chairman, ceo and cofounder of Blackstone, is designed to “provide direct input to the President from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic and nonpartisan manner.”
The first meeting of the forum is set to be held at the White House in the first week of February.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to bring back jobs to the U.S. and create more jobs, while also threatening to penalize companies that move their production offshore.
But he has also come under fire for reportedly having his signature suit and tie collection made in China and Mexico by licensees.
Wal-Mart is one company that can easily align itself with Trump’s goal of creating new jobs in the U.S.
“We look forward to working with such a well-respected group of business leaders to positively influence our country,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said. “Through insights from our millions of customers and 1.5 million associates in the U.S., we have a broad perspective into the economy that we believe helps promote jobs and growth. It’s our hope that the group’s broad industry experience and diverse viewpoints will strengthen our economy and communities across the country.”
The world’s largest retailer made a high-profile commitment to buy products made in the U.S. in January 2013, stating it would invest $250 billion over 10 years on additional Made in the USA goods that support American jobs.
A company spokesman told WWD in 2015 that the company was on target to meet its goal and had seen encouraging results with some of its vendors reportedly bringing some production back to the U.S. and creating more jobs.
Wal-Mart’s program has benefited U.S. textile and apparel producers.
At one point last year the program came under scrutiny with some Made in the USA claims on its web site, but the retail giant moved quickly to address the issues and said it had instituted a more extensive quality assurance review to help eliminate what it said were a small percentage of coding errors.
Other business executives that have been tapped for Trump’s business leader forum include Bob Iger, chairman and ceo of The Walt Disney Co.; Mary Barra, chairman and ceo of General Motors; Jamie Dimon, chairman and ceo of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and ceo of IBM; Marc Weinberger, global chairman and ceo of EY, and Larry Fink, chairman and ceo of BlackRock.
The business forum also includes Jack Welch, Former chairman and ceo of General Electric; Rich Lesser, president and ceo of Boston Consulting Group; Jim McNerney, former chairman, president and ceo of Boeing; Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners; Paul Atkins, ceo of Patomak Global Partners and former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Toby Cosgrove, ceo of Cleveland Clinic.