3M head calls Obama 'Robin Hood-esque'

Feb. 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- 3M Chief Executive Officer George Buckley called President Barack Obama "anti-business," warning regulations and taxes would drive companies abroad.

"I judge people by their feet, not their mouth," Buckley told the Financial Times in an interview. "We know what his instincts are. They are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business."

"There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It's about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes toward science.

"About 68 percent of our science PhD candidates are from outside the United States. Many want to stay here afterward, but they're not allowed as many visas as we would like."

Since the midterm election in November, Obama has reached out to the business community, giving a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and forming a business council led by GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt. But Buckley warned companies would take their business elsewhere, despite the gestures of reconciliation.

"Politicians forget that business has a 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," he said.

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