Canada more 'pro-business' than US: 3M CEO - Macleans.ca

Canada more ‘pro-business’ than US: 3M CEO

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In an interview with the Financial Times, the CEO of 3M, George Buckley, called Barack Obama anti-business and “Robin Hood-esque” and complained about American policies on taxation, regulation, skilled immigration and science. He said Canada and Mexico are more pro-business than America:

“There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”

He added: “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.”

The 3M chief also criticised US immigration policy, saying the difficulty of obtaining visas was forcing companies to move research and development overseas. “About 68 per cent of our science PhD candidates are from outside the US,” he said. “Many want to stay here afterwards but we’re not allowed as many visas as we would like.”

“We are now exporting science overseas to China, India, Germany, building labs there. 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.”

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