Trump abruptly ends manufacturing council after CEOs quit

Global Business

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, calls on a reporter while meeting the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

After vowing to revitalize American manufacturing and the U.S. economy, U.S. President Donald Trump disbanded two of his top CEO advisory councils on Wednesday.

The move came after a growing list of executives quit his manufacturing council in protest over his comments following the violence in Charlottesville.

CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

Trump made advisory groups a staple of his administration. He hoped to gain insight from America’s top executives on how to grow U.S. manufacturing and the economy.

But on Wednesday, he shut down two of his top CEO councils – the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum.  

“Rather than putting pressure on the business people of the Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” Trump tweeted.

The tweet came after a torrent of executives quit the manufacturing council in protest over Trump’s controversial statements following the violence in Charlottesville.

Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of Merck, was the first to leave on Monday. The head of the pharmaceutical giant said his decision was a matter of personal conscience.

Other executives from fortune 500 companies soon followed suit including Intel’s CEO, who called on all leaders to condemn white supremacists. 

“The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was,” Brian Krzanich wrote in a blog post.

The CEO of Campbell’s Soup also pulled away saying: “Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville.” 

Executives faced mounting pressure to distance themselves from President Trump.  #QuitTheCouncil was trending on social media.

This isn’t the first time corporate America has taken a decisive stand against Trump. In June, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger quit the White House advisory council after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

What impact all of this will have on his relationships with America’s top CEOs is unclear but it is undoubtedly a blow for a president who likes to call himself a deal maker.

Jonathan Bernstein talks crisis management after Trump ends manufacturing council

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo talk to Jonathan Bernstein, CEO of Bernstein Crisis Management, about Trump dismanteling his manufacturing council.