Another CEO quits Trump council

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 17, 2017

A spokesperson referred queries related to the American Manufacturing Council back to the White House.

The union leader says: "We can not sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism".

A third CEO has left Donald Trump's manufacturing council since the weekend.

Meanwhile, Trump said that he has other CEOs ready to take their place that "grandstanders" should not have joined the manufacturing council in the first place.

Throughout the day, other CEOs on the manufacturing council condemned racism after the weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But for Krzanich, Plank, and Frazier, it seems like a case of too little, too late. By then nearly two days had passed since the president's first remarks on Charlottesville - and some of the nation's most prominent business leaders had filled the gap with denunciations of racism.

Is big business fed up with Trump? In January, his ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries drew criticism from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Starbucks boss Howard Schultz, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Apple's Tim Cook and many, many others.

In June, high-profile business leader and Tesla founder Elon Musk quit the council after Mr Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of only four African-Americans to lead a Fortune 500 company today, was the first to tender his resignation Monday. "Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to remain engaged, not as a way to support any specific political agenda, but as a way to represent the values of Our Credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed", he said.

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Frazier, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia, resigned from the manufacturing advisory council days after one person was killed and others wounded in violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters.

In a statement on his resignation, Frazier said, "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".

CEO Elon Musk in May resigned from the business council earlier this year, when Trump announced he would leave the Paris climate accords.

"This has really hit a nerve - attacking this great CEO", Sonnenfeld said. The manufacturing group, spearheaded by Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, hasn't met in five months.

Tougher condemnations began Sunday night with Vice President Mike Pence, traveling in South America, declaring that "these risky fringe groups have no place in American public life".

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

Privately, many chief executives say they are fuming, outraged by the president.

With the barbs, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes. "It's made outside of our country", he told reporters at his Trump Towers in NY. CEO Travis Kalanick quit in February after Trump's executive order on immigration.

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