Industry vendors Whirlpool and Dell said they will continue to participate in the Trump administration’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative despite the president’s delay in denouncing right-wing hate groups.
Dell founder/CEO Michael Dell and Whirlpool chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig refused to follow the heads of Intel, Under Armour, Merck, the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the AFL-CIO, who resigned from the president’s business-leaders council over Trump’s unwillingness to call out the Ku Klux Klan and other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. Their violent gathering in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend led to the death of a counter-protester and, indirectly, two police officers.
UPDATE:President Trump on Wednesday dispanded the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative council following the added resignations of the CEOs of Campbell Soup and 3M.
In a statement issued to Marketplace, the public radio news source, Whirlpool said it will “continue on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative to represent our industry, our 15,000 U.S. workers, and to provide input and advice on ways to create jobs and strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.”
Similarly, the PC maker told Marketplace, “There’s no change in Dell engaging with the Trump administration and governments around the world to share our perspective on policy issues that affect our company, customers and employees.”
Dell said it “wouldn’t comment on any other [council] member’s personal decision.”
For its part, Whirlpool stressed that it “believes strongly in an open and inclusive culture that respects people of all races and backgrounds,” adding, “Our company has long fostered an environment of acceptance and tolerance in the workplace.”
Intel’s Brian Krzanich and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank were not the first industry execs to leave the president’s job council. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Robert Iger each resigned in June over Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, while former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left after his participation was interpreted as a tacit endorsement of the Administration’s travel and refugee bans.
Related: Walmart’s CEO Calls Out Trump
Krzanich’s and Plank’s protest was echoed by a contingent of Republican senators who broke rank and took Trump to task, including Ben Sasse (Neb.), John McCain and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Rob Portman (Ohio), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Cory Gardner (Colo.), and Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott (S.C.).