Trump Shuts Down Manufacturing Council Before More CEOs Abandon Him

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 20, 2017

They are the latest executives who have resigned from presidential advisory councils in protest over Trump's actions.

He then specifically addressed the events in Charlottesville, which led to three deaths, including that of Heather Heyer, who among a group of people counter-protesting neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statute of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank Monday night.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents the pharmaceutical industry and lobbies on its behalf in Congress, declined to offer a statement of support for Frazier or to comment on Trump's reaction. Meanwhile, a weakened Trump will be less able to retaliate vs. corporations, especially as the number grows.

William Galston, a senior fellow at the 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.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier cited the president's failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. In those remarks, he did not single out white supremacists or any other hate group, even as Republican lawmakers and others in his White House did condemn them by name.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the opening of a listening session with manufacturing CEOs in the State Dining Room of the White House February 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump eventually made a statement condemning bigotry Monday afternoon at a press conference.

Frazier and Plank are not the first CEOs to drop out of a Trump advisory role.

"We've learned that as president, Mr Trump is behaving exactly as he did as a candidate", Galston said.

"I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do", Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul wrote on Twitter. "These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism".

"America's leaders must honor 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", he said in a statement.

"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" the president wrote on Twitter.

Frazier, who had been the only African-American CEO to join the manufacturing council, announced early Monday morning that he would step down "as a matter of personal conscience". But they also said they'd stay on the council so they could advise the government on ways to strengthen manufacturing.

"That's very good", Trump said at the time.

Trump on Saturday initially denounced what he called "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides". "He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together".

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