President-elect Donald Trump is busy choosing people to fill the over 4,000 positions in his new administration. Despite the daunting number of people who need to be hired, Trump isn’t scaling back, but rather expanding the cadre who will be advising him as president. This includes those he selected for a new President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which will include General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
There are 16 people in the group, which also includes CEOs from JPMorgan Chase, Walt Disney Co., Boeing, and IBM. The panel is mostly men with the only other woman being IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. The idea is for the group to advise trump on job creation and to help the government run more efficiently.
It will surprise no one that there’s not a representative from Ford on this new panel. Trump was critical of the company in the days leading up to the election over Ford’s plan to move production of select vehicles over the border to Mexico. Ford said it had other vehicles planned for US production and that the existing plant wasn’t closing, but Trump doesn’t want any jobs leaving the US.
The selection of Barra adds both a woman and an auto industry expert to the mix. Although not set in Trump’s sights, GM has the potential to run into trouble with the tariffs Trump stated he wants to impose on any companies that import cars back into the US since GM has operations in Mexico.
According to Detroit Free Press, Trump said, “This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth. 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.”
It’s not only President-elect Trump who thinks highly of Barra. A leaked email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign shows Barra was on the list of possible running mates along with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Bill and Melinda Gates. Although the honor ended up going to Tim Kaine, Barra definitely got the better end of that deal.
The group is expected to have their first meeting at the White House in early February.