Dow Chemical chief executive Andrew Liveris has been appointed as head of the American Manufacturing Council
Donald Trump’s appointment of Dow Chemical chief executive Andrew Liveris as head of the American Manufacturing Council has prompted a mixed reaction stateside.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) slammed the appointment and said it could ’damage American farmers, the health of the public and the environment’.
But observers said the decision marked a significant shift to a corporate-minded focus on Governmental affairs in the US and a more bullish outlook regarding trade.
The American Manufacturing Council has been tasked with finding ways to ’bring industry back to America’, which was one of Mr Trump’s key campaign pledges.
Making the announcement Mr Liveris would ’head up’ the council, the president-elect said he was ’one of the most respected businessman in the world’.
FoE futures campaigner Tiffany Finck-Haynes said: "Andrew Liveris should be disqualified for the position due to his likely conflicts of interests.
"Serving as head of the American Manufacturing Council could allow Liveris to use a government post to benefit Dow Chemical and to line his own pockets."
FoE has also accused Jeff Sessions, Mr Trump's selection for Attorney General, of a conflict of interests as he has received campaign contributions from Monsanto and Bayer and the Department of Justice will have final say on the proposed merger of Monsanto and Bayer. Monsanto shareholders approved the deal on December 13.
The National Farmers Union in the US has previously slammed the Monsanto-Bayer deal, saying other mergers had 'stifled innovation, led to less competition, higher prices and job loss in rural America'.
Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive, said: "The acquisition of Monsanto is driven by our strong belief that this combination can help address the growing challenges facing farmers and the overall agriculture industry today and in the future"
Ms Finck-Haynes said the President elect was 'more concerned with advancing corporate interests than protecting the American people, workers and farmers'.
"Trump's appointment signals that he will rubber stamp these mega-mergers, limiting farming and food options and increasing prices for farmers and consumers," she said.