GM CEO Mary Barra tapped for Trump economic panel

Keith Laing and Melissa Burden
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — President-elect Donald Trump has named General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra to a Strategic and Policy Forum that frequently will advise him on economic issues and jobs growth.

Trump’s transition team said Friday that Barra will be part of a forum that is composed of “some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders” that “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 non-partisan manner.”

Those in the group will be asked to share their views on how government policy impacts economic development, job growth and productivity.

Barra said Friday she is “pleased to join President-elect Donald J. Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum because it offers us a seat at an important table where we can contribute to a constructive and open dialogue about key policy issues.

“We look forward to working with President-elect Trump, his team and other corporate and civic leaders on policies that support a strong and competitive economy and automotive industry,” Barra said in a statement provided to The Detroit News.

A GM spokesman confirmed Barra was asked to join the group.

Automakers are waiting to see what Trump’s policies are and how they may impact them, including in the areas of trade and fuel economy rules. On the campaign trail, Trump often criticized GM rival Ford Motor Co. for moving jobs to Mexico. Ford has said it plans to cut no jobs in the U.S. but does plan to shift small car production from its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne to Mexico.

Trump during the campaign said he wanted to renegotiate or end the North American Free Trade Agreement and talked about imposing a 35 percent tariff on goods coming from Mexico into the U.S.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks on Friday said Ford continues to talk with the Trump team.

Trump’s transition said Friday “members of the Forum will be charged with providing their individual views to the president — informed by their unique vantage points in the private sector — on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation and productivity.”

“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” Trump said in a statement. “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 forum will be chaired by Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.

Other members of the panel:

■Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission

■Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic

■Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

■Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock

■Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

■Rich Lesser, president and CEO, Boston Consulting Group

■Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

■Jim McNerney, former chairman, president, and CEO, Boeing

■Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners

■Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, IBM

■Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

■Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO, EY

■Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO, General Electric

■Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit

Trump’s transition team said the first meeting of the forum will be held at the White House during the first week of February.

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Twitter: @Keith_Laing