Correction to article on executives quitting Trump advisory council

By Michelle Ma Features Dow Jones Newswires

Two more members of President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council said Tuesday they would resign, while the leader of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. criticized the president for his initial response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va.

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Mario Longhi, the former CEO of U.S. Steel, and Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit group formed by manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union, both said they were resigning.

Mr. Paul said he was quitting the council "because it's the right thing for me to do."

U.S. Steel said Mr. Longhi had resigned but refused to comment further.

The men joined other corporate chiefs who have left the council in apparent protest of the president's failure to quickly condemn the white supremacists who engaged in violence over the weekend in Charlottesville. On Monday, Mr. Trump denounced the hate groups.

The other CEOs who stepped down -- on Monday -- were the heads of Merck & Co., Intel Corp. and Under Armour Inc.

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They drew attacks from Mr. Trump, who indicated he had other executives with whom he could fill the slots.

"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on," Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Wal-Mart chief Doug McMillon, who is on another White House advisory council, criticized Mr. Trump's initial response to the violence but said, "we believe we should stay engaged."

"As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend," Mr. McMillon wrote Monday in a memo to staff, "we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists."

Alex Gorsky, the head of Johnson & Johnson, who said he would remain on the advisory council, said he respected other chief executives' decisions to leave it, but he decided to remain engaged "not as a way to support any specific political agenda" but to advocate for the company's positions when public policy is discussed.

"Ours is an important voice on health care, one that global leaders at every level, in and out of government, need to hear," Mr. Gorsky said in a statement Tuesday. "We must engage if we hope to change the world and those who lead it."

Most companies that responded to requests for comment on Tuesday said their leaders would continue to serve on the manufacturing council, including Boeing Co., Campbell Soup Co., International Paper Co. and Newell Brands Inc. General Electric Co. said Monday that chairman Jeff Immelt would stay on as well.

Mr. Paul didn't explain his decision, and his staff said he wasn't available for comment. Mr. Paul had been supportive of Mr. Trump's efforts to revamp free-trade deals and curb imports of foreign-made steel, but the manufacturing alliance lately criticized the administration's slow progress on those efforts.

Mr. Paul and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka were two of the few representatives on the council from organized labor. Mr. Trumka said his group is "assessing our role" on the council. "There are real questions into the effectiveness of this council to deliver real policy that lifts working families," he said.

One more member of President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council said Tuesday he would resign, while the leader of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. criticized the president for his initial response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit group formed by manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union, said he was resigning.

Mr. Paul said he was quitting the council "because it's the right thing for me to do."

The men joined other corporate chiefs who have left the council in apparent protest of the president's failure to quickly condemn the white supremacists who engaged in violence over the weekend in Charlottesville. On Monday, Mr. Trump denounced the hate groups.

The other CEOs who stepped down -- on Monday -- were the heads of Merck & Co., Intel Corp. and Under Armour Inc.

They drew attacks from Mr. Trump, who indicated he had other executives with whom he could fill the slots.

"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on," Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Wal-Mart chief Doug McMillon, who is on another White House advisory council, criticized Mr. Trump's initial response to the violence but said, "we believe we should stay engaged."

"As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend," Mr. McMillon wrote Monday in a memo to staff, "we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists."

Alex Gorsky, the head of Johnson & Johnson, who said he would remain on the advisory council, said he respected other chief executives' decisions to leave it, but he decided to remain engaged "not as a way to support any specific political agenda" but to advocate for the company's positions when public policy is discussed.

"Ours is an important voice on health care, one that global leaders at every level, in and out of government, need to hear," Mr. Gorsky said in a statement Tuesday. "We must engage if we hope to change the world and those who lead it."

Most companies that responded to requests for comment on Tuesday said their leaders would continue to serve on the manufacturing council, including Boeing Co., Campbell Soup Co., International Paper Co. and Newell Brands Inc. General Electric Co. said Monday that chairman Jeff Immelt would stay on as well.

Mr. Paul didn't explain his decision, and his staff said he wasn't available for comment. Mr. Paul had been supportive of Mr. Trump's efforts to revamp free-trade deals and curb imports of foreign-made steel, but the manufacturing alliance lately criticized the administration's slow progress on those efforts.

Mr. Paul and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka were two of the few representatives on the council from organized labor. Mr. Trumka said his group is "assessing our role" on the council. "There are real questions into the effectiveness of this council to deliver real policy that lifts working families," he said.

Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected at 11:29 a.m. ET on Wed., Aug. 16, 2017 to clarify that former U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi's membership in President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council ended when he resigned from the company in June, not Tuesday.

Former U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi's membership in President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council ended when he resigned from the company in June. "Two More Corporate Executives Quit Trump Advisory Council" at 16:58 ET on Aug. 15, and "Wal-Mart CEO Criticizes Trump's Virginia Response" at 17:44 ET on Aug. 15, incorrectly stated in the first and second paragraphs that Mr. Longhi said Tuesday that he would resign from the council. (Aug. 16)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 11:43 ET (15:43 GMT)