Trump tweets may cause US companies to halt job creation abroad — for the moment — expert says

Price could face tough battle for confirmation: Gutierrez

Some U.S. companies may decide to put their overseas plans on ice after President-elect Donald Trump's rhetoric on cultivating American jobs, Carlos Gutierrez, chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, told CNBC on Thursday.

Gutierrez, former Kellogg CEO and former U.S. Commerce secretary, said boardrooms across the nation are asking the question, "Do we want to be the subject of a tweet?"

"I think that's the power of the influence of a president, even a president-elect. But again, I think eventually, this will all need to evolve into real tax reform because companies have to stay competitive," Gutierrez said on "Power Lunch."

Some American corporations will suspend their plans until it becomes apparent whether or not Trump will deliver on his proposed policy measures, Gutierrez said. Businesses will also stall, "if their numbers look better with tax reform and, importantly, with regulatory reform," he said.

Trump has said he wants to reduce taxes across the board, slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said the tax plan will create huge economic growth and increase personal income.

On the business front, the president-elect has wasted little time attacking the American corporations that he disagrees with or taking claim for plans to keep jobs in the U.S. On Wednesday, Trump took credit for Sprint's decision to keep 5,000 jobs in the U.S., as well as OneWeb's plan to add 3,000 jobs.

The announcement of additional planned job creation was key to the president-elect's long touted message, Gutierrez said.

"I think it was symbolically important, and it creates momentum around the idea that jobs are coming back or U.S. companies will invest ...," Gutierrez said.

On Thursday, Gutierrez also mentioned Trump's intended cabinet choices, saying out of the group, Health and Human Services pick Tom Price will likely face the most conflict for confirmation.

"The democrats may decide to focus on him. And put all their power behind him because he's taking away or his job will be to take away one of President Obama's legacies ... one of his biggest achievements: Obamacare," he said.