Merck, Intel, Under Armour, Alliance for American Manufacturing & AFL-CIO resign from manufacturing council following President Trump's response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville

Five members of the American Manufacturing Council resigned following President Trump's failure to quickly condemn racism and violence by white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville. The rally was organised to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee and demonstrations became violent as white nationalists intimidated and attacked counterprotesters. One woman was killed and 19 injured after a reported Nazi sympathiser drove into a crowd and two pilots were killed when a state police helicopter responding to the protests crashed. President Trump responded to the violence by condemning "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides." President Trump's response was criticized for not specifically denouncing racism and white supremacy and for presenting a false equivalency between white nationalists and counterprotesters who were demonstrating against hate and bigotry. [refers to AFL-CIO, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Campbell Soup, Dell, Dow, General Electric, Intel, International Paper, Merck, Nucor, Under Armour & Whirlpool]

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Article
14 August 2017

Three CEOs resign from Trump council over Charlottesville

Author: Michael Erman, Reuters

The chief executives of Intel Corp, Merck & Co Inc and Under Armour Inc resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, following Trump's initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia... "I resigned from the council to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues," Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said in a blog post... Kenneth Fraizer, the chief executive of drugmaker Merck and an African-American, said he left the advisory council because of the president's reaction after the violence between white supremacists and counter protesters. Frazier cited the need to "take a stand against intolerance and extremism."... After the white nationalist rally turned deadly on Saturday, Trump initially said that many sides were to blame. On Monday, in a statement, Trump denounced neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as criminals and thugs, bowing to mounting political pressure as critics assailed him for not singling out white supremacists... The CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, announced his resignation from the council in a Twitter posting. "We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing," said Plank. "However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics."

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14 August 2017

Under Armour and Intel C.E.O.s Follow Merck Chief, Quitting Panel in Rebuke to Trump

Author: David Gelles & Katie Thomas, The New York Times

Three chief executives from top American companies resigned from a presidential business council on Monday following President Trump’s tepid initial response to a violent weekend in Charlottesville, Va... The executives’ decisions are the business community’s strongest rebuke to date of [this] president... [Merck CEO] Mr. Frazier’s decision was made public through a statement on Merck’s Twitter account early on Monday. "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. As C.E.O. of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against extremism."... Mr. Trump lashed out at Mr. Frazier on Twitter less than an hour later. “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” he wrote... For most of the day, even as Mr. Trump took aim at Mr. Frazier, dozens of other chief executives who have agreed to advise the president remained silent,... a reminder that although big companies are increasingly willing to take public stands on many contentious social issues, they also covet their access to a business-friendly White House... Late on Monday other C.E.O.s [of Intel & Under Armour] followed Mr. Frazier’s lead [by resigning from the council]... Over the course of the day, several top executives made statements denouncing racism and bigotry generally, although few went as far as [the CEO's of Merck, Intel & Under Armour].

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