The White House held a dinner on Wednesday night with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his delegation, and invited a total of 52 guests to attend, including a host of American and Mexican CEOs. The dinner, held in the White House’s East Room, was the most prominent social event hosted by the Trump administration since COVID-19 lockdowns began back in March. However, a number of CEOs decided to skip it, including Ford CEO Jim Hackett, according to Reuters.
Hackett wasn’t the only Big 3 Detroit CEO to decline his invite, as he was joined in absence by both GM CEO Mary Barra and Mike Manley of Fiat Chrysler. Representatives for all three companies said that they were simply not available to attend.
It’s worth noting that some officials said they did not receive their invitations until Monday. Ford did send its North American operations chief, Kumar Galhotra, to the dinner, and GM sent its general counsel, Craig Glidden.
There’s no word on why, exactly, Jim Hackett and the remainder of the Big 3 leaders didn’t show up for the dinner, but most automakers are in the middle of their summer shutdown schedules, which is a time many auto company executives take vacation.
Their absence is noteworthy, however, as all three automakers figure to benefit from the launch of a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that has remained in place for the last 26 years.
A number of other CEOs from several notable American and Mexican companies were in attendance at the dinner, however. The event was closed to the media, though a list of attendees was made available by the White House.