3M’s Buckley Criticizes Obama, Calls Him “Anti-Business”

George Buckley, CEO of Maplewood manufacturing giant 3M, told the Financial Times that manufacturers might shift production out of the United States because of the country's unfriendly business policies and immigration policy.

3M CEO George Buckley sharply criticized President Barack Obama, calling him “anti-business” and warning that U.S. business policies might prompt manufacturers to shift production out of the country.

“I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” Buckley recently told the Financial Times. “We know what his instincts are-they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

Following the Democratic defeat in November's midterm elections, Obama pledged to cut regulation, reform taxes, and rebuild infrastructure in an effort to appeal to corporate America. Last month, Obama created the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which includes 26 corporate leaders-including one Minnesotan-selected to identify ways to bolster the nation's economy.

Still, Buckley told the Financial Times that “there is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business,” adding that “it is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”

Buckley also said: “Politicians forget that business has choice. We're not indentured servants and we will do business where it's good and friendly. If it's hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico-which tend to be pro-business-or America.”

In addition to coming down hard on the country's business policies, Buckley also criticized U.S. immigration policy, saying that the difficulty of obtaining visas was forcing companies to move research and development overseas. He said that about 68 percent of 3M's doctoral candidates in science are from outside of the country, and many who wish to stay in the United States after earning their degrees aren't allowed to do so.

“We are now exporting science overseas to China, India, Germany, building labs there,” Buckley told the Financial Times. “There's a good strategic reason for it, but we also have no choice-if we can't get the people here and we're competing with the people there, we have no choice but to do it locally.”

To read the full Financial Times article outlining Buckley's criticism of U.S. business policies and immigration policy, click here (registration is free but required).