Business Roundtable: Enough Talk about Stakeholders. Time for Action!

Chief executives who are members of the Business Roundtable, include, left to right, front row: Julie Sweet of Accenture North America, Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, Tim Cook of Apple, Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners of Austin. Back row: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mary Barra of General Motors and Larry Fink of BlackRock. Source: New York Times, April 19, 2020, “Shareholder Value Is No Longer Everything, Top C.E.O.s Say,” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/business/business-roundtable-ceos-corporations.html

We applaud the Business Roundtable’s August 2019 release of a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation in an effort to promote a thriving U.S. economy “that serves all Americans.” One hundred eighty one top CEOs in the BR redefined the obligation of companies to stakeholders to go beyond shareholders and include employees, suppliers and communities. The COVID and George Floyd crises make action even more essential today.

Sounds great but where should they begin?

The best solution is more U.S. jobs. The best way to get the jobs is to reverse past offshoring, to reshore, with the potential to add 3 million well-paid manufacturing jobs.

The Reshoring Initiative® calls on these 181companies and their management to follow their CEOs’ commitment as follows:

  • Reevaluate all offshoring. About 20 to 30% of what the companies are importing can be supplied in the U.S. with equal or greater profit. No harm to shareholders!

  • The Reshoring Initiative’s free online TCO Estimator is the key to reevaluating, allowing companies to quantify all supply chain costs and risks. Stop buying the cheapest product. Instead buy the one with the lowest total cost.

We call on communities; employees and suppliers to demand these companies start reevaluating and reshoring now:

  • Suppliers: Use the Reshoring Initiative’s Import Substitution Program (ISP) to identify which companies are importing products you make well. Then use TCO to convince the companies to buy from you instead of importing.

  • Employees: Procurement often ignores the impact of offshoring on inventory, stocking out, travel, late night phone calls, IP risk, warranty, etc. Gather internal allies to convince procurement or the CEO to reevaluate.

  • Communities: Economic developers can use ISP to identify large local importers and TCO to help the importers see the benefits of producing or sourcing locally. Call on the suppliers for help.

  • Call on the Reshoring Initiative to help. 1 (847) 867-1144
The “Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.” But for the last two decades America’s top CEOs prioritized shareholder value and maximized profits. This emphasis on short-term profits contributed to broad based cost cutting and hollowing-out for short-term gains. This short-range thinking lead to cost cutting measures that negatively impacted workers, communities, suppliers, U.S. competitiveness and the economy as a whole. Management was rewarded for procuring the lowest priced goods regardless of hidden costs or long-term loss of resiliency. Companies stopped investing in training, equipment and technology, making offshoring, a loss of innovation, millions of jobs lost, wage erosion and income inequality inevitable. Five million manufacturing jobs have been lost, measured at current productivity levels.

But on August 19, 2019 the BR released a new statement on the Purpose of a Corporation to promote “an economy that serves all Americans.” Many of the nation’s top CEOs committed to lead their companies for the benefit of stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. An endorsement of stakeholder capitalism meant investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities. “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.

Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote ‘An Economy That Serves All Americans’

August 19, 2019

Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity. We believe the free-market system is the best means of generating good jobs, a strong and sustainable economy, innovation, a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all. Businesses play a vital role in the economy by creating jobs, fostering innovation and providing essential goods and services. Businesses make and sell consumer products; manufacture equipment and vehicles; support the national defense; grow and produce food; provide health care; generate and deliver energy; and offer financial, communications and other services that underpin economic growth. While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders. We commit to: - Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. - Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect. - Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions. - Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses. - Generating long-term value for shareholders, who provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders. Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country. https://opportunity.businessroundtable.org/ourcommitment/

Signed by 181 CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.

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Total Cost of Ownership Estimator®

TCO is a key tool in the sourcing decision process, quantifying whether the costs and risks avoided offset the often-higher U.S. manufacturing cost or price. Most of the issues are related to distance: freight, delivery, inventory, etc. Others are country-specific: rising wages, IP risk, political instability, etc. A broad range of costs and risks can be quantified using the free online Total Cost of Ownership Estimator®

. Figure 1 shows the distribution of Chinese price and Chinese TCO across hundreds of products analyzed by TCO Estimator users.

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Figure 2 shows that about 8% of imports from China were more profitably sourced here, based on Ex-Works price. The 8% rises to 32% if the decision is based on TCO. With 15% tariffs also added, the U.S. share rises to 46%. COVID-19 will eventually be history and Chinese deliveries will improve. Hopefully, U.S. companies will remember, prepare for future disruptions and reshore a large portion of what they have offshored.

See if your company or customer is in the list of 181 companies whose CEO’s signed the BR Statement.

1. A.O. Smith Corporation

2. Abbott

3. Accenture

4. ADP

5. AECOM

6. The AES Corporation

7. Aflac Incorporated

8. AK Steel Corporation

9. Allergan PLC

10. Alliant Energy Corporation

11. Altec

12. Amazon

13. American Airlines

14. American Electric Power

15. American Express Company

16. American Tower

17. Ameriprise Financial

18. Anthem, Inc.

19. Aon

20. Apple, Inc.

21. Aramark

22. Assurant, Inc.

23. AT&T Inc.

24. Ball Corporation

25. Bank of America Corporation

26. Baxter International Inc.

27. Bayer Corporation

28. Bechtel Corporation

29. Best Buy Co. Inc.

30. BlackRock, Inc.

31. The Boeing Company

32. Borgwarner Inc. 

33. Boston Consulting Group

34. BP PLC

35. BP

36. Bristol-Myers Squibb

37. C.V. Starr & Co., Inc.

38. The Carlyle Group

39. Caterpillar Inc.

40. CBRE Group, Inc.

41. CF Industries

42. Chevron Corporation

43. Chubb

44. Cigna Corporation

45. Cisco Systems, Inc.

46. Citigroup Inc.

47. CNH Industrial

48. The Coca-Cola Company

49. Cognizant

50. Comcast Corporation

51. ConocoPhillips

52. Corning Incorporated

53. Cummins Inc.

54. Cushman & Wakefield

55. CVS Health

56. Day & Zimmermann

57. Dell Technologies Inc.

58. Deloitte Global

59. Dow

60. Duke Energy Corporation

61. DXC Technology

62. Eastman Chemical Company

63. Eaton

64. Edison International

65. ExxonMobil Corporation

66. EY

67. FedEx Corporation

68. FIS

69. Flex

70. Fluor Corporation

71. Ford Motor Company

72. Fox Corporation

73. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

74. General Dynamics Corporation

75. General Motors Company

76. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

77. Grant Thornton LLP

78. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

79. Hanesbrands Inc.

80. Harman International

81. Hearst Corporation

82. The Home Depot, Inc.

83. Honeywell

84. Huntington Ingalls Industries

85. IBM Corporation

86. INFOR

87. International Paper Company

88. Interpublic Group

89. ITC Holdings Corp.

90. Jacobs

91. John Deere

92. Johnson & Johnson

93. Johnson Controls

94. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

95. KeyCorp

96. Kiewit Corporation

97. KPMG LLP

98. L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

99. Land O’Lakes Inc.

100. Leidos Holdings, Inc.

101. Lennar Corporation

102. Lockheed Martin Corporation

103. LyondellBasell Industries

104. Macy’s Inc.

105. Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

106. Marathon Oil Corporation

107. Marathon Petroleum Corporation

108. Marriott International, Inc.

109. MasMutual

110. Mastercard

111. McCormick & Company

112. McKesson Corporation

113. McKinsey & Company

114. Medtronic, Inc.

115. MetLife, Inc.

116. Micron Technology, Inc.

117. Moelis & Company

118. Moody’s

119. Morgan Stanley

120. Motorola Solutions

121. NASDAQ

122. National Gypsum Company

123. New York Life Insurance Co.

124. Noble Energy, Inc.

125. Northrop Grumman Corporation

126. Novelis

127. NRG Energy, Inc.

128. Oracle Corporation

129. Owens Corning

130. PepsiCo

131. Pfizer Inc.

132. Phillips 66

133. Pitney Bowes Inc.

134. Principal

135. The Procter & Gamble Company

136. Progressive Corporation

137. PWC

138. Qualcomm Incorporated

139. Quanta Services

140. Raytheon Technologies Corporation

141. Rockwell Automation, Inc.

142. S&P Global Inc.

143. Salesforce

144. SAP

145. SAS Institute

146. Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.

147. Sempra Energy

148. Siemens Corporation USA

149. Silver Lake

150. Southern Company

151. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

152. Steelcase Inc.

153. Stryker Corporation

154. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc.

155. Synchrony

156. Target Corporation

157. TC Energy

158. Telephone & Data Systems, Inc.

159. Texas Instruments Incorporated

160. Tishman Speyer

161. The Travelers companies, Inc.

162. TSYS

163. Turner Construction Company

164. Union Pacific Corporation

165. United Airlines

166. United Technologies Corporation

167. UPS

168. USAA

169. Vanguard

170. Verisk Analytics

171. Visa, Inc.

172. Vista Equity Partners

173. Vistra Energy

174. Walgreens boots Alliance, Inc.

175. Walmart

176. Wells Fargo & Company

177. WESCO International, Inc.

178. Western & Southern Financial Group

179. Western Union

180. Whirlpool Corporation

181. Wipro Limited

182. World Fuel Services Corporation

183. World Wide Technology, Inc.

184. Xerox Corporation

185. Xylem Inc.

186. Zebra Technologies Corporation

187. 3M

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