The President's strained credibility and controversial stance on the ugly incident in Charlottesville has imperiled potential opportunities to revitalize high-tech manufacturing in the U.S.
Donald Trump is in hot water. Again.
Trump's hesitancy to denounce white supremacist hate groups and his steadfast refusal to squarely pin the blame squarely on them for the ugly and deadly incident in Charlottesville has drawn the ire of opponents and drawn criticism across the spectrum of society, including from close allies and supporters.
In recent days, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and several other chief executives quit the president's manufacturing council in response to Trump's comments on the Charlottesville incident.
Generally speaking, regardless of their personal political viewpoint, it's in the best interest of CEOs to remain chummy with politicians in power in order to curry favor on issues of import to their firms such as tax reform and the R&D tax credit. In this case, while there is every reason to believe that Krzanich and the other CEOs who quit the council were motivated by personal revulsion to Trump's comments, from a pragmatic perspective, The Donald left them little choice. No brand can afford to be associated with bigotry or intolerance.
Trump speaks at a press conference in New York Tuesday.
It's interesting to read Krzanich's blog on the subject, which can be found here on the Intel website. Krzanich says he 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." He goes on to say that, basically, that the political climate (and by implication Trump) makes it impossible to genuinely advance American manufacturing, an issue that is obviously near and dear to Krzanich's heart and his wallet.
Krzanich concludes the blog by stating that he is an engineer, not a politician, and that it's "clear even to me that nearly every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible."
The defections of Krzanich and other CEOs from the manufacturing council is not good for Trump, though whether he realizes that or cares is another matter entirely. In typical Trump fashion, he took to Twitter to denounce pharmaceutical company Merk after its CEO resigned from the manufacturing council. He also sent out a tweet disbanding the manufacturing council and another presidential council, the Strategic and Policy Forum, after learning that the remaining members of each had already met and decided to pull the plug on them.
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