Trump disbands two business advisory councils after CEOs resign
The Dollar Business Bureau
After the CEOs of Manufacturing Advisory Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum resigned, Donald Trump, disbanded both the business councils on Thursday. In his hallmark Trump style, he tweeted, “Rather than putting pressure on the business people of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”
The chief executives had resigned in protest over the US President’s ambiguous response in which he appeared to be sympathetic towards some of the white supremacist people and neo-Nazis erupting in violence in Charlottesville killing 3 and injuring many.
The Manufacturing Advisory Council was established in January just after the President was sworn-in, while the Strategic and Policy Forum that had 16 members was formed in December.
Till now 11 CEOs have resigned from the advisory councils, and more were likely to follow. The CEOs were outraged that the President chose to be ‘less than encouraging’ and had chosen to blame both sides in his response to the weekend violence, in which a car driven by a white supremacist rammed into peaceful protesters, killing a woman.
Notable members like Kenneth Frazier of Merck’s, Richard Tumka, president of American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO), Brian Krzanich of Intel, and Kevin Plank of Under Armour had left the councils yesterday.
Many members openly voiced their criticism while a joint statement by the members of the Strategic and Policy Forum read, that ‘intolerance, violence, and racism have no place in the country and are an affront to core American values.’ The Strategic and Policy Forum has notable CEO’s like Indra Nooyi CEO PepsiCo, Mary Barra CEO General Motors, Doug McMillon CEO Walmart, Jamie Dimon CEO JP Morgan who were led in the protest by Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone making sure their dissent reached the President’s ears.
According to news reports carried by Reuters, the members said, ‘the President's Strategic and Policy Forum was conceived as a bi-partisan group of business leaders called to serve our country by providing independent feedback and perspectives directly to the President on accelerating economic growth and job creation in the United States.’
“We believe the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans,” they said.
In a joint statement, the CEOs, however, maintained that job creation and supporting an inclusive pro-growth agenda remained important to the country's progress.
“As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum. Job creation and supporting an inclusive pro-growth agenda remain vitally important to the progress of our country. As Americans, we are all united in our desire to see our country succeed,” they said.
Major dailies carried the following reports on the rebellion by the CEOs.
The Los Angeles Times said in a report: “The dissolution of the councils marks corporate America's strongest repudiation yet of Trump, who ascended to the White House touting himself as the first CEO president.”
The Washington Post termed the development as a "major setback" to Trump's relationship with the American business community.