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Trump CEO meeting will include Dimon, Fraser and Moynihan

Trump CEO meeting will include Dimon, Fraser and Moynihan
Trump CEO meeting will include Dimon, Fraser and Moynihan

 


U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan (left) speaks during a meeting with banking industry executives to discuss how the financial services industry can meeting the needs of guests impacted by COVID-19 at the White House in Washington, DC. March 11, 2020.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump will address some of the world's most powerful business leaders on Thursday, despite some notable absences.

Besides Trump, President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Jeff Zients, will address CEOs in Biden's place because the president is in Italy for the G7 summit.

A spokeswoman for the Business Roundtable said she expects “about” 100 of the more than 200 business leaders who belong to the exclusive forum to attend its quarterly meeting in Washington on Thursday, a turnout which she described as typical.

CNBC contacted each of the more than 200 companies whose executives are listed online as members of the Business Roundtable to ask if they planned to attend Thursday's meeting.

Only 17 of them confirmed whether the company's CEO was present or not. The rest, more than 180 companies, did not respond to emails for several days.

So here's what we know: Of the 17 company spokespeople who responded to CNBC, four said their CEOs planned to attend: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Citigroup CEO Brian Fraser, Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, and Pedro Pizarro, CEO of Edison International.

Thirteen others said their CEOs would not see Trump and Zient speaking.

Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group and Trump ally, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, Sara Armbruster, CEO of Steelcase, Darren Woods, CEO of ExxonMobil, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ted Pick, CEO of Morgan Stanley, James Gorman, executive chairman of the company, and Lynn, CEO of Duke Energy. The good ones are among those who will be absent from the conference, according to their company representatives.

Some of them, like Armbruster, Good and Solomon, will not be present due to scheduling and travel conflicts. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, would for example be present at the G7 summit in Italy.

Representatives for Woods and Bastian did not respond to questions about why their leaders would not attend the meeting. Representatives for Fink and Nadella did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more about CNBC's politics coverage

The list of meeting attendees could read like a list of CEOs willing to travel to Washington to hear from Trump and which comes only weeks after his conviction in New York on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trump's comments to the group could also offer a split-screen comparison to what Biden said in his speech to CEOs at a March 2022 business roundtable he attended.

As the president campaigns for re-election, Biden is building on his administration's record of aggressively enforcing antitrust laws and blanket bans on so-called junk fees that companies charge for services that don't benefit them. cost nothing.

These policies have angered some business leaders and pushed them to support a second Trump administration and the regulatory easing it could bring.

However, behind closed doors, Biden has made his own efforts to court American businesses. The president has met regularly with CEOs and industry leaders to discuss the post-pandemic recovery of the U.S. economy and its global situation.

Former Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California said the willingness of busy CEOs to travel to Washington to meet with Trump was a function of the tight presidential race.

“I think [CEOs] see what everyone sees, that he's going to win,” McCarthy said Wednesday on CNBC's “Squawk Box.”

For some of the CEOs who plan to be there Thursday, the choice to be there represents a change in their attitude toward the former president. Following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, several senior leaders dramatically broke with Trump, whether publicly or privately.

Last year, Dimon told attendees at the New York Times DealBook conference that they should “help” Trump's rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, win her primary fight against Trump.

If Haley succeeds, Dimon said, voters could have “a choice on the Republican side that might be better than Trump's.” The former president responded by ripping Dimon on social media, calling him an “overrated globalist.”

But just two months later, Dimon had changed his mind.

“Take a step back, be honest. [Trump] I was mostly right about NATO, and mostly right about immigration. It has developed the economy quite well. The commercial tax reform worked. He was right about part of China,” Dimon said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Trump has outlined a second-term economic agenda that many economists say could heat up inflation, a dreaded prospect for investors and consumers who have spent the last year anxiously waiting for the Federal Reserve to respond to the slowdown inflation by reducing interest rates.

The former president also proposed extending his first term's tax cuts beyond their 2025 expiration date and imposing draconian tariffs on all imports, particularly those from China .

Speaking in Davos, Dimon suggested that his willingness to defend some of Trump's policies was, at least in part, aimed at avoiding a scenario in which he or JPMorgan Chase found themselves on the wrong side of a notoriously vengeful Trump.

“I must be prepared for both [Trump and Biden to win]”, he said. “I'll be ready for both. We will deal with both. »

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