BUSINESS LEADERS: TRUMP IS BAD FOR AMERICAN BUSINESS

For Immediate Release: October 6, 2016
Contact: John Stubbs, press@r4c16.org
 

BUSINESS LEADERS: TRUMP IS BAD FOR AMERICAN BUSINESS

A dozen business leaders including Republicans, Democrats and Independents sign nonpartisan letter saying Trump would be bad for their business and vow not to vote for him

WASHINGTON, DC  - Thursday evening, major U.S. business leaders launched a new initiative to generate hundreds of signatures on an open letter from owners, CEOs and executives of American businesses, small and large.

The full letter is below and is also published at TrumpIsBadForBusiness.org, and the group is actively organizing more business leaders to join the effort.

The statement was crafted and signed by a dozen founders and CEOs, including Republicans Mike B. Fernandez, founder and Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners; Jack McGregor, former Republican state representative for Pennsylvania and founder of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins; Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush and former Chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company. They were joined by three Democrats and six Independent CEOs.

The signatories cite Mr. Trump’s general approach to business, his economic ideas and his harmful rhetoric. They ask, “how do you lose nearly a billion dollars in a single year?”

The letter continues, “for American small businesses, we need a leader who will end the culture of bankruptcy and frivolous litigation, not be its champion.” It notes Trump’s six business bankruptcies, and 3,500 lawsuits -- a new lawsuit every 3 days for 30 years.

Lead signatories include:

Jose Andres, chef and founder of ThinkFoodGroup

  • Bill Cummings, founder, Cummings Properties

  • Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of Flexjobs

  • Mike Fernandez, founder and Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners

  • Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former Chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company

  • Joseph Kopser, co-founder of RideScout

  • Monica Lozano, former Chairman and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Media, Inc.

  • Jack McGregor, former CEO of Aquarion and founder of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga

  • Reshma Saujani, CEO, Girls Who Code

  • Whitney Tilson, founder and Managing Partner of Kase Capital Management

  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

“In the history of our great nation, we have not seen a lesser qualified individual to operate the world's largest economy,” said Mike B. Fernandez. “A person capable of justifying the most vile acts against women, minorities, the disabled, those who have served our nation, or anyone who dares to disagree with him... can only lead a family business. No investor who upholds its fiduciary responsibility would back an individual like Trump. Which is obvious when it was his Daddy who had to fund him."

The group has been organized in part by John Stubbs, Co-Founder of Republicans for Clinton in 2016, but the business gathering is nonpartisan and includes American entrepreneurs and executives from across the political spectrum.

“As this diverse list of signatories highlights, opposition to Trump knows no discrimination,” said John Stubbs. “Whether you create software, recipes, buildings or hockey teams, Mr. Trump’s way of operating, and his vision for America, is at odds with creating the stable environment business needs to be successful.”

The full text of the letter is below and also at: TrumpIsBadForBusiness.org,

The undersigned individuals are owners, CEOs and executives of American businesses, small and large. We can't support Donald Trump because we are convinced he would be bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for the people who work for our companies, buy our products and services, and invest in our companies.  

Trump’s harmful rhetoric regarding immigrants, women, racial and religious minorities, the disabled and American veterans is not only unacceptable, it creates an atmosphere of vulgarity that poisons the climate, as does his general approach to business and many of his economic ideas. And how do you lose nearly a billion dollars in a single year?

NONE of us will be voting for Donald Trump for President of the United States.

Our businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Every big business was once a small business. Since the 1970s small businesses have provided more than half of all jobs and two-thirds of all net new jobs in America, and are responsible for more than half of all U.S. sales. We know what business needs to succeed, and it is not Donald Trump’s vision for America.

Never before has a major party nominee been so philosophically committed to the culture of bankruptcy and frivolous litigation. After his six business bankruptcies, almost all major banks understandably refuse to lend to Trump or his businesses. With his economic policies estimated to cost the Treasury $10 trillion over the next decade and his flirtations with renegotiating the national debt – a potentially disastrous blow to investment in the U.S. – it’s as if he is already preparing for his next bankruptcy, only this time on behalf of our government. We cannot allow that to happen.

Over the last three decades, Trump’s businesses have been involved in an astonishing 3,500 lawsuits. That works out to a new lawsuit every 3 days for 30 years. Many of Trump’s lawsuits are not against big corporations, but against American workers. Hundreds of liens have been placed on Trump by contractors who say Trump refused to pay for their work. Even during this election process, he threatened to sue the Republican delegation from Louisiana, Senator Ted Cruz and the Washington Post.

Sadly, as experienced business professionals, most of us have at one point or another encountered such individuals who do not honor their obligations. We cannot imagine one of these people as our president. In order to improve the prospects for American small businesses, we need a leader who will end the culture of bankruptcy and frivolous litigation, not be its champion.

“Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?” Trump said. Well, we do. As president, Trump could unilaterally impose tariffs without Congressional approval. He has proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, which would immediately hit the pocketbooks of all American families. Further, the inevitable retaliation would devastate any U.S. company selling abroad, 97% of which are small businesses. The resulting trade war would cost millions of American jobs and send the economy into a recession.

Our concerns are not theoretical. The last time the United States attempted such punitive trade policies was in 1930, leading to the Great Depression.

Some of our friends are focused on Trump’s tax cuts. According to the independent Tax Foundation,most of Trump’s proposed cuts benefit the top 1% of Americans. And because Trump would simultaneously put entitlements in a “lock box” rather than commit to the difficult political work needed to modernize them, forecasting firm Oxford Economics claims Trump’s economic plans would, within five years, lead to a $1 trillion loss in GDP and a loss of 4 million jobs.

We cannot abide a candidate for president who trumpets honesty and transparency as virtues but will not release his own tax returns as all modern candidates for president have done. As a group of national security experts recently questioned, Trump has foreign entanglements and foreign debts he refuses to disclose and foreign investments he refuses to divest. In business, we call this “performing due diligence” and we do not engage in business relationships without it. It is similarly unacceptable to not understand a presidential candidate’s potential conflicts of interest.

“I like being unpredictable,” Trump writes.

For sustained investment, economic growth and job creation, American business needs as much predictability, reliability and stability in our government as possible. Donald Trump is simply too reckless for American business.

*DISCLAIMER: The individuals listed have signed in their personal capacity and this does not reflect the endorsement of any organization, corporation or entity to which they are affiliated. Titles and affiliations of each individual are provided for identification purposes only.

 

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