Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

More CEOs Step Down From Trump's Manufacturing Council

More CEOs Step Down From Trump's Manufacturing Council

This week, the CEOs of Merck, Intel, Under Armour and the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing all announced their departures from the advisory panel in the wake of Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday.

After his remarks, a fifth member of his manufacturing panel resigned: AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who said in a statement, "We can not sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism".

CEOs have dropped out of President Trump's councils before over disagreements.

"America's leaders must honour our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal".

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier (L) listens to President Donald Trump at a January 2017 meeting.

Trump has said "many sides" are to blame for violence.

Later Monday, Trump targeted Merck in a second tweet.

But he will likely be unable to escape questions and criticism for his initial response to the Saturday's violence, for which he blamed bigotry on "many sides".

The aftermath of the violence at a neo-Nazi and white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, represents the latest break between Trump, who sold himself as a businessman president, and leaders of corporate America.

Drug makers have come under closer scrutiny because of rising drug prices, although Merck has not been one of the companies targeted by politicians or watchdogs.

Indian, Chinese troops hold border meeting after Ladakh scuffle
Usually, Indian troops stop Chinese patrols up to Finger Five. "We consider this attitude towards peaceful resolution important". The envoy said Japan has been watching the situation "very closely" as it "can affect the stability of the entire region".

Now, Mr. Levick said, his clients, which include Fortune 500 companies, are starting to feel safer about speaking out. Every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible.

Trump's council, set up to advise the president on American manufacturing, is chaired by Dow Chemical Co.

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C. -based think tank Brookings Institution, said he couldn't "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

Trump lashed out at Frazier on Twitter, criticizing Merck for what he said were its high drug prices.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted: "Lincoln: 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' Isolate those who try to separate us".

"We can not sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism", said a joint statement from Richard Trumka, the labor union's president, and Thea Lee, its chief of staff.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to defend the president in TV interviews on Monday in which he stressed the administration was taking a robust approach to investigations.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the USA out of the Paris climate agreement.

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, Musk, Plank, Paul and Krzanich, resign.

Democrats and Republicans have attacked the Republican president for waiting too long to address the violence, and for saying "many sides" were involved rather than explicitly condemning white-supremacist marchers widely seen as sparking the melee.

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