GM Hires Trump’s Top Economic Advisor As Trade Tariffs Loom Large

A company as large (and with as wide a global reach) as General Motors needs to have a handle not only on business, but on government policy as well. And it looks like it’ll have that base covered with the hiring of Everett Eissenstat.

A top advisor to the Trump Administration, Eissenstat has served for the past year-plus as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. That gave him a seat on the National Security Council as well, and had him leading negotiations for the US at the G-20, G-7, and APEC summits.

Now he’ll be taking up a new role as GM’s senior vice president for global public policy. And the timing could hardly be more prescient as the White House where he once worked prepares to implement sweeping tariff regulations that stand to directly impact how automakers especially do business in the United States and abroad.

“Everett Eissenstat has had a distinguished career in public policy managing complex issues around the world,” said Barra. “His broad experience interacting at the highest levels of government, both within the U.S. and globally, and his track record for partnering and building relationships on both sides of the aisle make him a perfect fit to represent GM and our employees on key policy issues.”

In his new capacity, the Oklahoma native will report directly to GM chairman and chief executive Mary Barra, who herself previously sat on President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.

It’s not just a year of experience at the White House that GM is acquiring in hiring Eissenstat. Before joining the Administration, he served as chief international trade counsel to the Senate Finance Committee (from 2011-17), and before that as Assistant US Trade Representative for the Americas (2006-11). In short, he’s been working on top-level international trade policy for over a decade now. And that expertise (and the connections made in the process) will undoubtedly prove invaluable to General Motors, particularly as the Trump Administration seeks to shake up international commerce.

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