Reaction after Merck CEO resigns from manufacturing council

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The group, which Trump established in January with about two dozen members, is supposed to meet occasionally to offer the president advice on job growth.

Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned from the American Manufacturing Council after US President Donald Trump appeared reticent to explicitly condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After four members of his American Manufacturing Council resigned earlier this week, President Donald Trump explained away the actions as ones made out of "embarrassment" over the issue of outsourcing.

The president responded first on Twitter, slamming Frazier's decision. Markets largely ignored the move, however, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up less than 1 percent as of 3:24 p.m. It wouldn't be surprising if more follow suit and if the Trump administration continues on its path, no one may be left on its advisory council.

Instead, Trump criticized violence on "many sides", ignoring reporters when they asked if he would specifically speak out against white nationalist groups such as the KKK.

Business leaders, including JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon and Apple's Tim Cook, denounced racial intolerance, condemned hate speech or expressed shock over Charlottesville, where a rally participant rammed a group of counter-demonstrators with his auto, killing one and injuring at least 19 others.

The evening after Trump's comments, members of the strategy and policy forum - led by Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman - began to waver.

When did the first people leave?

Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong.

Bannon OustedWhite House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was reportedly fired Friday morning, though he insists he resigned July 27-giving two weeks' notice-but his leaving was put off because of the events in Charlottesville.

The union leader says: "We can not sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism". But they also said they'd stay on the council so they could advise the government on ways to strengthen manufacturing. Twenty-eight CEO's and union leaders brought together to work on bringing jobs to America. "We believe the debate over forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and honest desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans".

The council was formed in January of this year to advise the U.S. president about American manufacturing, as he sought to bring more jobs back to the country.

Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Co. "I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does", he wrote in a blog post on the company's website late Monday.

The exodus forced Mr Trump to disband it on Wednesday, despite defiantly writing on Twitter a day earlier "for every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place".

In the past several days, other executives have echoed those sentiments.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental views 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 in a statement announcing his resignation.

But McMillion says the president's later condemnation of racism was a "step in the right direction".

The disbanding of the councils doesn't mean corporate America will fully turn its back on Trump, said Dan Eaton, a business ethics lecturer at San Diego State University.

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