Auto journalists are currently making rounds to figure out what carmaker CEOs think of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. We’ve already heard from Elon Musk. Now, General Motors CEO Mary Barra has weighed in, and, what the fuck is this shit?
While the objective prospect of having a seat at the president’s table seems like a smart business decision, Barra’s participation in this committee is simply a backdrop of credibility for the Trump administration to use and abuse for its own sake.
Barra and other executives fill in the image for every economic decision Trump makes; photos of these meetings will accompany headlines and broadcasts providing a blanket of credibility to controversial actions despite the president completely ignoring advice and consultation. Meanwhile, nothing tangible has been produced by this committee. The seat is no longer serviceable or credible.
Mary Barra and her colleagues are being used to front an environment of consultation and consideration that the Trump administration simply does not employ. General Motors will be put under international pressure to conform to the Paris Climate Agreement despite the president’s decision to withdraw, so what value remains in holding a seat with no impact?
The only acceptable rationale to stay on this advisory committee is to actively and publicly confront the decisions the president makes that are not in the interest of the company, industry, economy, or individual. Do not settle for backroom handshakes, small talk and photo-ops for some faint hope at getting your way later.
Do not choose to be compliant with an administration that has not yet acted on your recommendations nor shown any willingness to do so, as it deceivingly courts you long enough to have somebody to point a finger at for its wildcard play.