Wal-Mart, IBM oppose US exit from Paris deal, but will stay on WH panel

Walmart, US, jobs, retail

Several major US companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc, JP Morgan Chase & Co and IBM Corp, on Friday said their CEOs will remain in an influential presidential advisory group despite objecting to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

Citing the need to stay engaged with the administration, business leaders said they would remain in their advisory roles to continue working to influence White House policies.

Trump, a Republican, on Thursday said he would pull the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, drawing anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry.

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Walt Disney Co CEO Robert Iger reacted by leaving White House advisory councils after Trump’s move.

“Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk said in a Twitter post on Thursday. He was a member of the business advisory group, known as the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. He also belonged to Trump’s manufacturing jobs council.

Asked about CEOs’ criticism of the U.S. withdrawal, White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Friday said some companies that expressed support for remaining in the agreement raised concerns about the emissions reduction targets.

Spicer, speaking to reporters at a daily news conference, added he does not know if Trump will replace Musk and Iger on the business council.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the largest U.S. retailer, said on Friday that Chief Executive Doug McMillon will remain on the business council.

McMillon said in a Facebook post late on Thursday he was “disappointed in today’s news about the Paris Agreement. We think it’s important for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will remain on the council, the company said on Friday as it reaffirmed its support for the Paris accord.

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