The 'CEO Circle' that includes Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn along with ten other CEO's from Airbus, Panasonic and Shell that represent a business lobby of some 150 foreign companies will be meeting with the Trump administration cabinet members tomorrow.
Participants from the US government include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross. The high-profile meetings come amid the escalating protectionist threats from President Trump against foreign businesses, including imposing hefty tariffs on imports.
The business leaders are likely to express their concerns about protectionist trade policies while asking for easing of regulations for investments. Samsung, for instance, is in talks with several states about an appliance plant.
In January we reported on Foxconn being close to deciding on a $7 billion dollar investment in the U.S. for an LCD plant. But in March a Nikkei report noted Foxconn's CEO hinting that plans to invest in the U.S. may not materialize any time soon due to labor issues and a lack of incentives.
In that context, tomorrow's meeting could push Foxconn and others to push the button on investments like opening plants in the U.S. if the incentives or 'carrots' are right. If no agreement could be ironed out or at least started, then this group may see the other side of the equation which is "the stick' and heavy tariffs be scheduled to begin.
Yes, it'll be interesting to read about what kind of statements are made after this meeting concludes tomorrow. We could hear positive comments or rumblings that a trade war is inevitable. No comments would signal hard negotiations are needed before a final decision could be made.
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