Intel CEO Brian Krzanich joined the leaders of Merck and Under Armour in resigning from the Trump administration’s American Manufacturing Council.
He did so to “call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing.” The move will open a wider divide between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., as it appears Trump has alienated business CEOs who would ordinarily be the last ones to stand in protest against an American president.
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of the nation’s most prominent black CEOs, quit the council on Monday morning because Donald Trump failed to quickly condemn the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy,” Frazier wrote, taking a strong stand against Trump’s early tweet condemning hatred “on many sides,” rather than calling out the white supremacists.
After Frazier resigned, Trump lashed out at him on Twitter, saying Frazier would have more time to “lower ripoff drug prices.” Then Under Armour’s Kevin Plank resigned, and on Monday evening, Krzanich also quit the council.
Here’s the full text of Krzanich’s blog post.
Earlier today, I tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council. I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.
I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does.
I am not a politician. I am an engineer who has spent most of his career working in factories that manufacture the world’s most advanced devices. Yet, it is clear even to me that nearly every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible. Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue.
My request—my plea—to everyone involved in our political system is this: set scoring political points aside and focus on what is best for the nation as a whole. The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was and what it still can and should be.