President Trump announced he was ending the White House’s American Manufacturing Council after eight business leaders announced they were leaving the panel in protest over the way Trump handled last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump also announced he was ending the Strategic and Policy Forum.
“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” wrote Trump on Twitter. “Thank you all!”
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Eight members of the American Manufacturing Council left the special panel since violence erupted in Charlottesville. A ninth, Greg Hayes of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), announced his resignation from the panel just minutes after Trump sent out the above tweet.
The American Manufacturing Council, which was established in January, was a group of 28 prominent chief executives set up to advise President Trump on domestic manufacturing initiatives.
The chief executives of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) were the first to resign from the council.
“I resigned from the council to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues,” said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, in a blog post.
Kevin Plant, CEO of Under Armour, tweeted, “We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”
I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport. – CEO Kevin Plank pic.twitter.com/8YvndJMjj1
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) August 15, 2017
Inge Thulin, the president and CEO of 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), announced his resignation from the manufacturing council on August 16.
“I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance” its goals — to achieve a United States that is “stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people,” he said.
This is not the first time a member of the American Manufacturing Council has left the group because of a growing political divide. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk left the group in June to protest Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
The Strategic and Policy Forum was an additional group of business people advising the president. Several members said they were already planning to disband prior to Trump’s announcement.
Dismantling these two groups means the president has lost the support of his most natural champions: Wall Street corporate leads, those who would benefit most from his planned tax cuts and lighter regulations.
“Twitter post,” Donald J. Trump Twitter account, August 16, 2017, 2:14 p.m.
“Intel CEO Leaves American Manufacturing Council,” Intel Corp., August 14, 2017.
“Twitter post,” Elon Musk Twitter account, June 1, 2017, 5:02 p.m.