Published: Mon, August 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

CEOs resign from Trump Manufacturing Council

CEOs resign from Trump Manufacturing Council

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank resigned from the panel later Monday, saying his company "engages in innovation and sports, not politics".

The resignations came after critics questioned Trump's decision not to call out white supremacists in a statement condemning the violence that erupted Saturday. But his decision to leave the American Manufacturing Council appears to have produced the opposite effect.

It didn't take long for Trump to turn to Twitter with a response to Frazier's announcement.

A 20-year-old OH man, James Alex Fields Jr., who was among those protesting the statue's removal, has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of the woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The head of pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc, Kenneth Frazier, quit the president's American Manufacturing Council in protest on Monday.

After making his statement on Monday at the White House, Trump also lashed out at the media, where many commentators said his response to the unrest still rang hollow.

To achieve this it aimed to use a combination of tax breaks, decreased regulation, increased tariffs and other trade measures.

In June, Tesla Chief Elon Musk resigned from the council after Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate agreement.

Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky had been among the last to weigh in publicly, saying before Trump's Tuesday news conference that he planned to remain on the manufacturing council "as a way to present the values of our credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed". He was also condemned for stating that "many sides" were involved. Merck has 25,000 US employees in all 50 states and has invested $50 billion in research and development since 2010, primarily in the United States.

In the same vein, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich in a company blog post, said he was resigning from the manufacturing council. On Under Armour's Facebook page Tuesday, customers who supported Trump threatened to boycott the athletic clothier.

"It is a leader's role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart", he said in a memo to employees provided to Bloomberg.

Trump immediately hit back, but made no reference to Frazier's comments on values, instead revisiting a longstanding gripe about expensive medicines.

And there are still about two dozen CEO's actively on the council.

On Tuesday, Trump called CEO defectors "grandstanders" and tweeted that he had "many to take their place".

The New York Times earlier reported the Strategic & Policy forum was in disarray.

Nucor's current CEO, John Ferriola, was listed as one of the 28 initial business leaders assisting with the White House's Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.

CEOs of major US corporations continue to jump ship from President Trump's Manufacturing Council in response to the president's rather belated and lackluster prepared response to the turmoil in Charlottesville that led to the death of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer, age 32, and the injury of 20 others by James Alex Fields Jr.

"Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering, and we will remain active champions for these efforts", said a spokesman for Campbell Soup for CEO Denise Morrison.

Whatever their motivations for exiting, any CEO joining the advisory council should've known what to expect because there was little mystery about Trump's policy positions, said Nick Donatiello, a lecturer on governance topics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

These business leaders are standing by their principles.

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