Cummins CEO Makes Strong Pitch for Free Trade

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at the forum.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger speaks at the forum.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger today argued forcefully for free trade, maintaining tariffs and other protectionist steps won’t serve American workers in the long run.

“I know that Cummins and our 2,500 U.S. suppliers – small, medium or large – we can compete with anyone,” Linebarger said during a panel discussion on trade and American competitiveness sponsored by the Business Roundtable and Farmers for Free Trade. “I know we can. And I just want the chance to do it.”

Linebarger and former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and now Co-Chair of Farmers for Free Trade, took questions from CNBC’s Kayla Tausche during the hour-long forum which was live-streamed and is now available on the Business Roundtable’s website. They were preceded by keynote remarks from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

All three men maintained the tariffs proposed by President Trump on imported steel and aluminum would harm not only industries that depend on those items for the goods they produce but could trigger a trade war including retaliatory tariffs from other countries.

Hatch called for bilateral talks with those responsible for the over-supply of steel and aluminum now on the market, maintaining tariffs would do “absolutely nothing” to resolve the issue. He said he fears the benefits of recently enacted tax reform for many companies considering expansion could be undermined by the negatives surrounding tariffs.

Baucus agreed, maintaining the impact of any ensuing trade war could be disastrous for U.S. farmers who increasingly count on exporting a significant amount of what they produce. 

The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. Linebarger, chairman of the group’s International Engagement Committee, lamented that trade has become politicized, maintaining “the idea that all sides can win has kind of been lost.”

He said a good example of both sides winning is Cummins’ high horsepower plant in Seymour, Indiana. The company looked at locations around the world but chose Seymour. Today, about 70 percent of the engines the plant builds are exported outside the U.S.

Linebarger praised the Trump administration for its work on tax reform and he said he likes what he hears about negotiations regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he says needs to be updated after 24 years.

Those developments and Cummins’ strong financial performance have him optimistic about the future – but only if that future is free of trade wars.

“We are ready to compete today more than ever,” Linebarger said. “All we need is a somewhat level playing field. We just need access to markets and we can go out and win.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Cummins Places High in Management, Sustainability Rankings

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.

Cummins has been named to two lists released this month reflecting the company’s strong management and sustainability initiatives.

 

The company finished No. 82 in the 2018 Wall Street Journal’s "Management Top 250"  released last week (Dec. 3), and No. 80 in the 2019 JUST 100, a list of America's most just companies released today (Dec. 10).

THE MANAGEMENT TOP 250

The Wall Street Journal’s rankings were prepared by the Drucker Institute, named for the late professor, author and longtime Wall Street Journal Columnist Peter Drucker. “To be a manager requires more than a title, big office and other outward symbols of rank,” he once wrote. “It requires competence and performance of high order.”

Cummins’ ranking is up from No. 94 in the 2017 Management Top 250 and includes five out of five possible stars for the company’s social responsibility performance. That’s up from four stars in 2017.

The social performance ranking is based on multiple indicators of community involvement, environmental stewardship, governance performance and whether “a company has put a social purpose at the core of its business strategy.” Cummins corporate mission is: “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

The company received four-star rankings for customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development and financial strength. Cummins was the third highest ranked company in its sector – automotive/vehicles, preceded only by General Motors (No. 37) and Ford (No. 42). 

Three technology companies topped the list – Apple (No. 1), Amazon (No. 2) and Microsoft (No. 3).

AMERICA’S JUST 100

Cummins has made the JUST 100 every year since it was initiated in 2016. The list is produced by a partnership between Forbes magazine and JUST Capital, which measures company performance against the American public’s definition of just corporate behavior based on public polling.

Last year, Cummins finished No. 45 in the JUST 100,  and No. 3 in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Rockwell Automation (No. 13) and Caterpillar (No. 38).

Cummins finished No. 80 in this year's survey and No. 3 again in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Caterpillar (No. 49) and Rockwell (No. 73). Tech companies also finished a top the JUST 100 led by Microsoft (No. 1), Intel (No. 2) and Alphabet (Google) (No. 3).

The JUST Capital poll of 81,000 Americans found several interesting findings, including:

  • 76 percent of working Americans said they would opt to work at a more just company even if the pay was less.
  • 78 percent of those polled said they had taken action to show their support for a corporation’s positive behavior.
  • 63 percent said they think CEOs have a responsibility to take a stand on important social issues.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger has been a proponent of environmental sustainability, maintaining protecting the environment while growing the economy is the challenge of our time.
 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Linebarger Calls for Pragmatic Approach to China Trade Standoff

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said this week he hopes U.S. negotiators will take a pragmatic approach that focuses on market access during the 90-day suspension of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“We should be thinking about pragmatic market access,” Linebarger said at a summit Thursday on innovation sponsored by the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from America’s largest companies who believe business leaders have a responsibility to help build an economic future in the U.S. 

“…What are our goals in the near term, this 90-day term? What can we do to increase practical market access for American businesses in China and what can we get them to practically stop doing that’s just unfair practices like stealing IP (intellectual property) etc.?”

Linebarger said starting with a single issue like market access can build momentum toward solving other issues that currently have the two economic superpowers at odds.

 “I think as soon as we are into negotiation and engagement, the chances for win-win solutions go up,” said the Cummins CEO, who has been an outspoken advocate for free trade and a critic of retaliatory tactics such as tariffs.

TRADE IS A JOB PRODUCER

Linebarger maintains Cummins is an example of how trade can be a job producer not a job killer. Trade has been the single largest contributor to Cummins’ growth over the past 15 years. As the company has grown globally, it has invested and added jobs in communities with Cummins plants such as Columbus, Indiana; Jamestown, New York; Rocky Mount, North Carolina and other American communities. 

Linebarger was part of a panel on “Competition and Collaboration with China for Leadership in Innovation” at the event in Washington, D.C. Other members included U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia; Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China under President Obama and the current governor of the state of Washington, and Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI, a technology company.

The summit invited business leaders and government officials of both parties, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, who participated in a panel on the “Future of Work in an Era of Automation and Artificial Intelligence.”

Linebarger agreed with his panel that issues like the forced sharing of intellectual property, patent infringement, counterfeiting and the stealing of proprietary technology are huge problems for U.S. companies that create an unlevel playing field for doing business in China.

Panelists said these practices may have been understandable when China was an emerging economy but not now that it is the second largest economy in the world.

CHINA'S IMPORTANT ROLE

Linebarger, however, also said Cummins would not be the company it is today were it not for the role China has played in innovation at Cummins and the company’s overall growth. The size of the market alone makes it critical to Cummins. Of the 1.3 million engines the company produces annually, about 500,000 are sold in China.

Other panelists suggested the U.S. should consider adopting some of the trade practices China employs for Chinese companies that want to do business in the United States. 

But Linebarger said it’s important for the U.S. to maintain its free market principles, which he argued are critical to innovation and can’t be duplicated by a planned economy dictated by the state.

“Just because everything is so centrally planned and subsidized doesn’t necessarily mean a win for China,” Linebarger said, looking at the electric vehicle market. He maintains companies can start to chase subsidies under such a system rather than work toward a vehicle that meets the demands of customers.

“They aren’t at the edge of competition,” he said. “They don’t feel the knife every day. …We may not win but if we do we are going to be lean and mean and tough.”
 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Design Competition Gives College Students a Chance to Tackle One of the World’s Great Challenges

Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.
Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger calls it the challenge of our age. How do we meet the world’s sustainability needs and grow the economy at the same time? Undergraduate and graduate college students will get a crack at that challenge along with the opportunity to use some pretty sophisticated software.

The company is joining forces with the ESTECO Academy to sponsor the Microgrid Design Competition in collaboration with ANSYS and Gamma Technologies. The challenge: design the best microgrid with reduced overall costs and minimized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, taking into account operating conditions and other constraints at the Cummins Megasite in Phaltan, India.

“We wanted to get students thinking about a project that involved electrification and alternative energy and see how Cummins is operating in that space,” said Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering in Seymour, Indiana (U.S.A.). “We have woven in the cost aspect and environmental impact so students are challenged to find the ‘perfect’ blend of providing the necessary power at the lowest cost and environmental footprint.”

Entrants will get access to ESTECO’s modeFRONTIER modular environment as part of the challenge, enabling them to use principles of engineering and modelling tools to address the challenge and all its complexities. 

Brittain, who is leading Cummins’ involvement in the competition, is a big proponent of using the latest optimization tools to enable more robust product designs in the face of the conundrum presented by Linebarger and others. The tools use mathematical calculations and related approaches to arrive at better designs faster.

Kevin Brittain, Cummins engineer
Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering

“As engineers, we are always pursuing optimization, in fact all of our lives are really solving optimization problems of some sort,” Brittain said. “The reality is that our problems are becoming more and more complex and processing through the solution space manually and without models is a tremendous challenge.

“Today, the best decision-makers can think two or three layers deep into their trade-off space,” he added. “But with optimization tools coupled with simulation tools like we are asking students to use on this project, we can greatly enhance the decision-making process as we can now consider trade-offs across tens of objectives concurrently.”

Students interested in the challenge can learn more at a special website. The competition includes cash prizes for first, second and third; one year of membership in the ESTECO Academy and members of the top three teams will be considered for internships at Cummins.

“These are really exciting times to be an engineer at Cummins,” Brittain said. “We want to offer our customers a broad portfolio of power products so they can choose what works best for them. That means we need people who can use the latest tools to keep our economy growing and meet the world’s sustainability goals.”

Learn More: ESTECO Academy Microgrid Challenge

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

Cummins Powers Women Program Celebrates International Day of the Girl

Participants in Rise Up’s Girls’ Voices Initiative in Kenya learn how to develop their own strategies to improve girls’ lives.
Participants in Rise Up’s Girls’ Voices Initiative in Kenya learn how to develop their own strategies to improve girls’ lives.

Women and girls are half the world’s population. When women and girls advance, we all move forward. The Masai ethnic group in central and southern Kenya are pastoralists, moving to and from areas raising livestock. Their society is strongly patriarchal; male elders decide most major matters for each Masai group. But Cummins Powers Women partner Rise Up is working to change this.

Rise Up’s Girls’ Voices Initiative (GVI) enables Kenyan girls to learn about girl-centered advocacy, leadership and how to develop their own strategies to improve girls’ lives. Rise Up is one of eight non-profit organizations Cummins is partnering with through the global Cummins Powers Women program, Cummins’ commitment to the advancement and prosperity of women and girls around the world. 

Peris is a 14-year-old Masai girl with a mighty voice, advocating to keep Kenyan girls in school. She is one of 24 girls participating in the GVI to stand up for change. Together these girl leaders are advocating for legislation to bring an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya.

Peris, a participant in the Girls' Voices Initiative.
Peris, a participant in Rise Up's Girls' Voices Initiative.

“I was inspired to work on issues affecting girls in my community because girls have been undergoing many problems, including FGM, early marriage, teen pregnancies and dropping out of school,” Peris explained.

“I attended the training and learned that a girl was not put on this earth to be invisible and not given life only to belong to someone else," she said. "I learned that girls can also be confident in their future and focus forward as the boys can do. I learned that I can speak up for girls’ rights.”


   
GLOBAL REALITIES FOR GIRLS

Today, on International Day of the Girl (Oct. 11), Cummins celebrates young female leaders like Peris, who are working to change their current reality. Consider these facts :

•    Globally, nearly 15 million girls under age 18 are married every year – or 37,000 each day.
•    One in three girls aged 15-19 has experienced some form of female genital mutilation in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
•    600 million girls live in poverty.
•    Every additional year of schooling for a girl increases her future earnings by 10 to 20 percent.

Although Kenya’s Female Genital Mutilation Act (2011) prohibits FGM nationwide, the practice remains common in certain regions. The prevalence of FGM in Peris’ community of Kajiado County is among the highest in the nation, affecting about 73 percent of women and girls (KDHS, 2014). 

Thanks to the training they received from Rise Up, Peris and her fellow girl leaders advocated for their rights. Together, they asked for support from the school chairmen, teachers and boys, and within their community, speaking with key chiefs and village elders.

Their leadership and advocacy resulted in the Members of the County Assembly implementing the FGM Act in Kajiado County. This is exponential change, and that’s why Cummins is partnering with Rise Up and other organizations advocating for women’s advancement around the world. 

PARTNERSHIPS THAT WORK

When women and girls have equal opportunity for education, skills development, pay, child care and healthcare, then girls, women, families and ultimately economies prosper. 

The Cummins Powers Women program represents the next phase of Cummins’ commitment to large-scale community impact and powering a more prosperous world. The program has started projects in seven regions around the world, reaching more than 1,500 people in 10 countries. 

The company’s investment of more than $10 million will support a range of effective programs already underway:

•    In North America, the Cummins Leadership Team is helping Girls Inc. create an advocacy approach to influence policy and government support for legislation that help girls and young women.
•    In Australia, local Cummins leaders met with students at Girls Academy schools to learn about their interests and goals. Girls Academy is the leading provider of school based programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in Australia.
•    In Cambodia, local Cummins leaders joined program partner CARE Australia in meeting young female students at two local schools to learn about their day to day lives. CARE is working to improve girls’ education in the northern provinces of Cambodia. Cummins and CARE also met with government officials to discuss the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills development in school curriculum. 
•    In Kenya, Cummins' leaders will be engaging in the Rise Up leadership accelerator in November, focused on young Maasai women. The program will engage 20 high school girls and 10 of their teachers, helping the girls develop their voice for advocacy and training the teachers on how to support the students.

The positive and inclusive environment for women at Cummins is the catalyst for us to dream about a future for all women and girls that includes abundant opportunity for global leadership, invention, skill and creativity. That’s why Cummins is lending its powerful voice in communities to cause exponential change in the lives of women and girls. 

Lucy, another youth leader in Rise Up’s Girls Voices Initiative in Kenya, captured many of the issues facing girls in her community in a short video. It was selected as one of 12 winners of the Girls Rising Creative Challenge out of nearly 900 submissions.

Mary Chandler - Cummins Inc.

Mary T. Chandler

Mary Titsworth Chandler is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Executive Officer of the Cummins Foundation. She joined the company in 2011 serving in Corporate Responsibility and became the leader of the function in 2015. A lawyer by training, Chandler practiced law for 25 years prior to working at Cummins.
Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.