Trump dissolves jobs council after 8 resign
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump dissolved the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative council this afternoon after eight executives resigned in the wake of Mr. Trump's comments about the race-tinged violence in Charlottesville, Va..
Mr. Trump announced his decision to dissolve the jobs council and the Strategy & Policy Forum at 1:14 p.m. today via Twitter — roughly 30 minutes after 3M Co. Chairman, President and CEO Inge Thulin tweeted he would step down from the council.
"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" Mr. Trump tweeted Aug. 16.
Mr. Thulin announced his resignation from the council at roughly the same time Campbell Soup Co. CEO Denise Morrison released a statement saying she would step down.
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
"I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth — in order to make the Unites States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people," read Mr. Thulin's statement, released on Twitter.
"After careful consideration I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals."
— 3M (@3M) August 16, 2017
Mr. Thulin and Ms. Morrison were the seventh and eighth to resign from the council in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and Trump's response to it. Mr. Thulin's prepared statement did not explicitly condemn events surrounding Charlottesville; Ms. Morrison's statement did.
"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point," Ms. Morrison wrote.
— Campbell Soup Co (@CampbellSoupCo) August 16, 2017
Scott Paul, president of the American Alliance for Manufacturing, and Richard Trumka, president, and Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff, of the AFL-CIO resigned from the council Aug. 15.
Mr. Paul announced via Twitter he was resigning from the council, tweeting "it's the right thing to do."
Mr. Trumka resigned later that day, tweeting his resignation was effective immediately.
"I cannot sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism; I resign; effective immediately," Mr. Trumka tweeted.
Merck & Co. Inc. CEO Ken Frazier was the first to step down from the jobs council after violence erupted in Charlottesville, and Mr. Trump did not repudiate white supremacist groups that organized the march. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned shortly after Mr. Frazier.
Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co., previously said he planned to remain on the council but released a statement condemning "hatred, racism and bigotry."
He released a second statement after the council had dissolved, saying all of the council members condemn racism and bigotry, but given the current environment, the council could not continue.
— Dow (@DowChemical) August 14, 2017
Several others who represented companies involved in the rubber industry remained on the council until it was dissolved.
Jim Kamsickas, president, CEO and director of Dana Inc., released a statement following Trump announced the council would dissolve.
"At Dana, we are deeply concerned and saddened by the horrific events that occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend. Racism, bigotry, and violence have no place in our society," Mr. Kamsickas' statement read.
"As CEO, I will continue to strongly advocate for the important issues of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion."
Doug Oberhelman, former chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., also remained on the council until its dissolution. Caterpillar released a statement Aug. 16 that read in part:
"At Caterpillar, there is nothing more important than Our Values — at their core we embrace the diversity and inclusion of all of our people. We appreciate and celebrate our differences. Our Values stand in stark contrast to the senseless acts of violence in Virginia. At Caterpillar there is no room for hatred, racism or intolerance."
Council member Rich Kyle, Timken Co. president and CEO, had not issued a statement on the controversy.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk left the council earlier, resigning after Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Mark Fields, former CEO of Ford Motor Co., left the board when he stepped down from his CEO position in May.
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