3 CEOs left Trump’s manufacturing council following Charlottesville — here’s how the rest of the council responded


Manufacturing Council trump frazier Merck
President
Donald Trump speaking during a meeting with manufacturing
executives at the White House.

AP


President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council of business
leaders
lost three of its members Monday
amid fallout from Trump’s
handling of the white-nationalist protests in Charlottesville,
Virginia, over the weekend.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, the only black business leader in the
group,
resigned
from it after Trump initially failed to explicitly
denounce white nationalists.

By the time Trump did so in a televised address on Monday,
Frazier was the only one to have stepped down from the council
because of the weekend’s events.

Later Monday, however, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank
joined Frazier in leaving the council
. The sporting goods CEO
said he decided to do so because his company “engages in
innovation and sports, not politics.”

That same night Intel CEO Brian Krzanich released a
statement saying he too was stepping down from the
council. 

“Earlier today, I tendered my resignation from the American
Manufacturing Council,”
Krzanich wrote
. “I resigned to call attention to the serious
harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues,
including the serious need to address the decline of American
manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the
important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing
base.”

Business Insider contacted the representatives of the remaining
council members to ask for a statement on Frazier’s departure and
whether they still planned to participate:

  • Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical Company, will
    remain on the council. “I condemn the violence this weekend in
    Charlottesville, Virginia, and my thoughts and prayers are with
    those who lost loved ones and with the people of Virginia,”
    Liveris said in an emailed statement. “In Dow, there is no room
    for hatred, racism, or bigotry. Dow will continue to work to
    strengthen the social and economic fabric of the communities
    where it operates — including supporting policies that help
    create employment opportunities in manufacturing and rebuild
    the American workforce.”
  • Bill Brown, Harris Corporation, did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Michael Dell, Dell Technologies, will remain
    on the council. “While we wouldn’t comment on any member’s
    personal decision, there’s no change in Dell engaging with the
    Trump administration and governments around the world to share
    our perspective on policy issues that affect our company,
    customers, and employees,” a spokeswoman said.
  • John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation, did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation, did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Mark Fields, formerly Ford Motor Company,
    stepped away from the council
    after leaving Ford
    in May. Ford told Business Insider the
    company did not have a representative on the manufacturing
    council.
  • Ken Frazier, Merck,
    left the council
    . “As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of
    personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand
    against intolerance and extremism,” he said in a statement.
  • Alex Gorsky, Johnson Johnson, did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp., did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin, declined to
    comment.
  • Jeff Immelt, General Electric, will remain on
    the council. “GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism,
    and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in
    Charlottesville over the weekend,” a GE representative said in
    a statement. “GE is a proudly inclusive company with employees
    who represent all religions, nationalities, sexual
    orientations, and races. With more than 100,000 employees in
    the United States, it is important for GE to participate in the
    discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the US,
    therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential
    Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the chairman of
    GE.”
  • Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc., did not respond to a
    request for comment.
  • Klaus Kleinfeld, formerly Arconic, left the
    company in April. It no longer has a representative on the
    council.
  • Brian Krzanich, Intel, announced Monday
    night he will step down from the council: “I am not a
    politician,” Krzanich
    said in a statement
    . “I am an engineer who has spent most
    of his career working in factories that manufacture the world’s
    most advanced devices. Yet, it is clear even to me that nearly
    every issue is now politicized to the point where significant
    progress is impossible. Promoting American manufacturing should
    not be a political issue.
  • Rich Kyle, The Timken Company, did not respond
    to a request for comment.
  • Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO, said the group was
    aware of Frazier’s decision and assessing its role. “The
    AFL-CIO has unequivocally denounced the actions of bigoted
    domestic terrorists in Charlottesville and called on the
    president to do the same,” said a statement from Trumka. “We
    are aware of the decisions by other members of the President’s
    Manufacturing Council, which has yet to hold any real meeting*,
    and are assessing our role. While the AFL-CIO will remain a
    powerful voice for the freedoms of working people, there are
    real questions into the effectiveness of this council to
    deliver real policy that lifts working families.”
  • Thea Lee, formerly AFL-CIO, departed as the
    group’s deputy chief of staff, and it is unclear whether she
    will remain a member of the council.
  • Mario Longhi, formerly US Steel, stepped away
    from the council after retiring on June 30.
  • Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company, will
    remain on the council. “The reprehensible scenes of bigotry and
    hatred on display in Charlottesville over the weekend have no
    place in our society,” said a company representative. “Not
    simply because of the violence, but because the racist ideology
    at the center of the protests is wrong and must be condemned in
    no uncertain terms. Campbell has long held the belief that
    diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of our
    business and our culture. Our commitment to diversity and
    inclusion is unwavering, and we will remain active champions
    for these efforts. We believe it continues to be important for
    Campbell to have a voice and provide input on matters that will
    affect our industry, our company and our employees in support
    of growth. Therefore, Ms. Morrison will remain on the
    President’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.”
  • Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing, did not respond to
    a request for comment.
  • Elon Musk, Tesla,
    left the council in June
    after Trump pulled out of the
    Paris agreement on climate change. He tweeted at the time: “Am
    departing presidential councils. Climate change is real.
    Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
  • Doug Oberhelman, formerly Caterpillar, did not
    respond to a request for comment.
  • Scott Paul, Alliance for American
    Manufacturing,
    was unavailable for comment.
  • Kevin Plank, Under Armour, announced
    Monday night he will step down from the council: “I
    joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believed it
    was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the
    table and represent our industry,” Plank said in a statement.
    “We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve
    American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in
    innovation and sports, not politics.”
  • Michael Polk, Newell Brands, did not respond
    to a request for comment.
  • Mark Sutton, International Paper, will remain
    on the council. “International Paper strongly condemns the
    violence that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend —
    there is no place for hatred, bigotry, and racism in our
    society,” said an International Paper representative. “We are a
    company that fosters an inclusive workforce where all employees
    are valued and treated with dignity and respect. Through our
    participation on the Manufacturing Jobs Council, we will work
    to strengthen the social and economic fabric of communities
    across the country by creating employment opportunities in
    manufacturing.”
  • Inge Thulin, 3M, did not respond to a request
    for comment.
  • Wendell Weeks, Corning, did not respond to a
    request for comment.

Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of the private-equity giant Blackstone
and the leader of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum —
another group
of executives from companies such as JPMorgan,
PepsiCo, and Walmart — also condemned the events in
Charlottesville and said he would remain as head of the forum.

“Bigotry, hatred, and extremism are an affront to core American
values and have no place in this country,” Schwarzman said in a
statement. “I am deeply saddened and troubled by the tragic
events in Charlottesville. My heartfelt condolences go out to the
victims and their families. As the president said today, I
believe we need to find a path to heal the wounds left by this
tragedy and address its underlying causes. Encouraging tolerance
and understanding must be a core national imperative, and I will
work to further that goal.”

*Editor’s note: The manufacturing group
met in February
along with a handful of other business
executives, but it’s unclear whether Trumka was in
attendance.


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