Obama was 'dismissive' of business, Trump is more engaged, WPP CEO says

Obama was 'dismissive' of business, Trump is more engaged, WPP CEO says
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world's largest communications services group.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

President Donald Trump is "heavily engaged" with business, making a dramatic change from the Obama administration which was "dismissive" of the community, Martin Sorrell, the CEO of the world's largest advertising firm WPP, said on Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald TrumpPhoto: Reuters

Sorrell, who sits on the Business Council in the US, slammed former President Barack Obama's track record with firms and said Trump's policies will boost growth.

Former U.S. President Barack ObamaPhoto: AFP

"What is dramatically clear, whereas the Obama administration was indifferent or I would say almost dismissive of the business community and dismissive of … engagement, this is an administration that is clearly from a US perspective, pro-growth, pro-business and heavily engaged … it has been peppered with engagement with different parts," Sorrell said during a talk hosted by CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

"And the fact that America is US$18 trillion (S$25.4 trillion) of GDP … it is the biggest engine and if the biggest engine is growing faster, that ultimately is certainly good for America … but it's not necessarily bad news for the rest of the world."

Trump has spent the weeks following the US election meeting with CEOs from different industries. In December, Trump hosted a meeting with technology leaders including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Earlier this month, Trump hosted another meeting which included several other leaders, including Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, over job creation, immigration and taxes.

Many business leaders see Trump's policies as supportive for US growth and Sorrell said that the President could be successful if he carries out the policies he promised, including a boost in spending and lighter regulation across different industries.

"I would say in the short-to-medium term, he will probably be successful, he has to implement his policies on tax, on regulation, on spending … but the atmosphere is remarkably different … than what we have seen in the last eight years under the Obama administration for good or bad," Sorrell said.

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