The early groundwork for reopening the U.S. economy is underway and President Trump, along with the nation's top CEOs and business leaders, are working in tandem to provide a blueprint on how an economic reboot may roll out as cases of the coronavirus peak in some areas.
"These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country, which will be announcing we're going to be talking about that tomorrow," said Trump while teasing a Thursday announcement.
We are having very productive calls with the leaders of every sector of the economy who are all-in on getting America back to work, and soon. More to come!
In 24 hours after announcing he would speak with over 200 CEOs and business leaders from the nation's biggest companies and trade groups, Trump is making progress getting that input and tweeted as much.
Following the tweet, the White House confirmed one call included reps from retail, real estate and hospitality along with food and beverage as well as banking and financial services.
"The President thanked members of these groups for working closely with the White House to coordinate the plan for a great American economic revival," said Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere in a statement to Fox. "The business leaders thanked the President for his leadership throughout this uncertain time and for putting the health of America first. The business leaders shared ideas for ways their industries can safely return and noted that the President’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and CARES Act have provided much-needed liquidity to many businesses and individuals"
Those who participated included:
- Jeff Bezos, Amazon
- Brian Moynihan, Bank of America
- Charles Scharf, Wells Fargo
- James Gorman, Morgan Stanley
- Chuck Schwab, Charles Schwab
- Ajay Banga, Mastercard
- Evan Greenberg, Chubb
- Doug McMillon, Walmart
- Brian Cornell, Target
- Chris Nassetta, Hilton
- Jimmy John Liautaud, Jimmy John's
- Bahram Akradi, Life Time
- Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital Group
- Stephen Ross, The Related Companies
- Phil Ruffin, Treasure Island Hotels
- Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association
A separate call included executives from the health care, technology, telecommunications and transportation industry groups which included the following business leaders:
- Mike Roman, 3M
- Fred Smith, FedEx
- Oscar Munoz, United Airlines
- Tim Cook, Apple
- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
- Safra Catz, Oracle
- Jen Morgan, SAP
- Sundar Pichai, Google
- Satya Nadella, Microsoft
- John Malone, Liberty Media
- Brian Roberts, Comcast
- Karen Lynch, Aetna
- Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
- Jerry Speyer, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer
- Len Schleifer, Regeneron
"The President applauded the business leaders for their flexible and innovative solutions to the unique challenges caused by this pandemic," Deere said in a separate statement. "The business leaders thanked the President for working closely with them and the invitation to coordinate on a great American economic revival. The leaders noted that strong supply chains and robust telecommunications have served our country well during this trying time. The President and business leaders pledged to continue their close cooperation in rapidly developing, producing and delivering testing equipment, therapeutics, and vaccines."
On Wednesday a series of grim economic data points reinforced how critical it is for Americans to return to work.
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a regional snapshot of the nation's economy, noted a sharp and abrupt contraction in April due to the coronavirus and provided some grim forecasts.
Additionally, retail sales fell by a record 8.7 percent month-over-month in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a steeper drop than the 8 percent that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting.
And manufacturing in the New York region via the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April plunged to a record low -78.2, worse than expected. The index printed at -21.5 last month. Industrial production fell 5.4 percent in March, making for the sharpest drop since 1946 when the U.S. saw a post-World War II slowdown.