Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville response

Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville response

The president blamed "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday in which a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a man crashed a auto into anti-racist protesters.

Mr Trump had appointed Darwin-born Mr Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company, to be the head of the White House advisory group, also known as the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.

Merck chief executive Ken Frazier, one of the few African-Americans represented among the business leaders advising Trump, was the first to resign from the manufacturing council, and others have announced they'd be parting ways since.

But McMillon, whose business has customers on all sides of the political spectrum, plans to stay on a separate Trump advisory panel and said that the president's follow-up remarks on Monday that named white supremacists were a step in the right direction. 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.

"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", Frazier said.

"Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world", he said at the time. In June, Disney CEO Robert Iger and Tesla CEO Elon Musk quit another White House business advisory council over Trump's decision to withdraw the US from a global climate-change treaty, called the Paris Agreement.

Trump criticized Frazier nearly immediately Monday over drug prices, and again Tuesday for having factories overseas.


He predicted more corporate leaders "across sectors and across party" will come out against Trump.

Wall Street seemed unfazed by Trump's attack.

At the same time, CEOs have become frustrated with Trump's inability to get his tax, infrastructure, health care or deregulation plans through Congress. Just 1% gave him an "A".

The president denied that his original statement about the violence in Virginia on Saturday - saying "many" sides were to blame, rather than hate groups - was the cause of the departures.

"It's certainly a sign that Trump's more controversial stuff isn't playing well with companies selling to middle America", said Goolsbee, now a professor at the University of Chicago.

"The silence of the Business Roundtable is shameful", Sonnenfeld said.

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