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Trump shuts down two corporate advisory bodies after CEO exodus

Trump shuts down two corporate advisory bodies after CEO exodus
US President Donald Trump announced he is terminating the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum after several CEOs resigned, citing Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia at the weekend.

President Trump made the announcement on his Twitter account on Wednesday. The decision follows the resignation of 11 CEOs, including AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka, Under Armour's Kevin Plank, and Intel’s Brian Krzanich.

The flurry of resignations began Monday after Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier announced he had quit the council, stating: "America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy."

Trump fired back on social media an hour after Frazier's announcement, by tweeting that the Merck CEO "will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

The CEO of Campbell Soup Co, Denise Morrison, was the latest member to leave on Wednesday, stating that “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," she added.

An hour earlier, Inge Thulin, the chief executive of 3M, announced he was quitting Trump's manufacturing council.

The manufacturing council was set up by President Trump in January to hear advice on revitalizing American manufacturing. Manufacturing was a major focus of the president’s campaign strategy and underpinned his slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’

READ MORE: Not good for America or world’: Musk abandons Trump advisory role after Paris deal withdrawal

In June this year, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, and Disney’s CEO Bob resigned from the advisory council after Trump pulled the United States out of the  Paris climate agreement.

In February, Uber's then chief executive, Travis Kalanick, stepped down from the economic council after mounting pressure from employees and activists who opposed the Trump administrations immigration policies. The move followed Trump’s executive order halting refugees and banning travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.