Merck's CEO quits Trump's council over Charlottesville

Why This CEO Says He Left Trump's Manufacturing Council

Why This CEO Says He Left Trump's Manufacturing Council

Four CEOs quit Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council over his response to a deadly rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville - and that was before the president renewed the controversy on Tuesday by furiously reverting to his original position that the counter-protesters share the blame for the violence.

That follows the wave of negative reaction to Trump's remarks regarding Charlottesville, Va., where one person was killed and 19 injured after a vehicle plowed into a group protesting a white supremacist rally over the weekend. Others joined Frazier: Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Scott Paul, president of the nonprofit group Alliance for American Manufacturing, each resigned from a manufacturing council, citing different reasons. The president wrote that the Merck CEO "will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

Manufacturing has made a strong comeback under the Trump Administration after almost a decade of contraction and lackluster growth.

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk and Walt Disney Co CEO Robert Iger left the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, a business advisory group, in June, after Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", President Trump said.

Trump had condemned the violence in Charlottesville saying that "the hatred and division in the America must stop as we are all Americans first".

Several other CEOs issued statements denouncing racism and white supremacy, but said they would stay on the council.

It's a stunning reversal considering the euphoria among business leaders following Trump's election.

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The manufacturing council still has executives from Dow Chemical, Dell Technologies, General Electric, Campbell's Soup and Boeing. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in an email to employees Monday that Trump "missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists". Renouncing global agreements that have supported business interests?

According to AFP, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, a black american, was the first to quit the panel following Trump's comments.

The manufacturing jobs council had 28 members initially, but it has shrunk since it was formed earlier this year as executives retire, are replaced, or, as with Frazier and Musk, resign. "I am deeply saddened and troubled by the tragic events in Charlottesville".

President Trump says CEOs who quit his manufacturing council are "grandstanders" - and he says he doesn't need them anyway. Plank's company had faced a backlash earlier this year over his support of Trump. The executives also spoke with other companies "to discuss the possibility of disbanding the committees", Flannery said.

Intel and Under Armour CEOs resign from Trump's Manufacturing Council
Trump had a message for Merck's Kenneth Frazier , Under Armour's Kevin Plank and Intel's Brian Krzanich . Within an hour after the statement was first issued, Trump tweeted his response .

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he could not "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Mr Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

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