President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Aug 16 that he dissolved his two business councils— the American Manufacturing Council and the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. Trump’s decision came after a series of resignations by member CEOs.
“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” he wrote on Twitter.
Several members criticized Trump for his response to the violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12. Trump was faulted for blaming left-wing groups along with white supremacists.
The first executive to resign from the Manufacturing Council was Kenneth Frazier, CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck. Frazier stepped down on Aug. 14, and seven members joined him, including Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.
After Trump’s tweet, a few CEOs also announced their resignation from the council including Corning’s CEO Wendell Weeks and GE’s chairman Jeff Immelt.
The American Manufacturing Council was a private sector group set up in January to advise the president on domestic manufacturing initiatives. Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co. was heading the council, which originally had 28 members.
“As proud as I am of the efforts we were taking on behalf of the American worker, disbanding the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative was the right decision,” Liveris said in a statement.
In addition to Manufacturing Council, President Trump had created the Strategic and Policy Forum to gain perspectives from business leaders on how to create jobs and boost economic growth and productivity.
The forum, which started holding gatherings in February, was chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of private equity firm The Blackstone Group. The forum consisted of 16 members including CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon and Indra Nooyi, chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo.