Trump initially blamed "many sides" for Saturday's violence, sparking a welter of criticism and prompting Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, a prominent African-American businessman, to quit the presidential advisory panel.
President Trump's American Manufacturing Council originally included the chief executives of more than two dozen top USA companies, as well as leaders of industry groups and labor unions. "However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics".
Dell Technologies said that its chief executive, Michael Dell, would remain on the White House manufacturing advisory council.
Trump had another Twitter outburst over Frazier's decision Tuesday morning, before the new conference, calling executives who quit "grandstanders", while claiming others were eager to sign on. Many critics questioned why Trump had not, in his initial response, explicitly named neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan or white nationalist groups in his early condemnations, criticizing the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides", repeating "on many sides". The president was already under fire for failing to quickly condemn white supremacy after Saturday's Charlottesville rally.
The council was formed back in January, when Trump launched the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative as part of his effort to create American jobs.
"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said in nationally televised remarks. Trump bashed Frazier in a tweet on Monday, saying the CEO would "have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"
After a auto plowed into a crowd, killing a counter-protester, Trump said there was violence "on many sides" without specifically denouncing white supremacists.
This prompted fierce reaction from Republican and Democrat politicians and began the exodus of CEOs from his Manufacturing Council. "We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups".
Of course, the CEOs remaining on the advisory group - including those from Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. and Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. - all have their own "risk calculations" to make, said John Rice, CEO of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a nonprofit group that helps companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, find minority talent.
Following their decision, Trump tweeted that he was doing away with the Strategic and Policy Forum and a seperate manufacturing council.
But many players in biotech (and some in pharma) were more vocal during another controversial moment in Trump's presidency: His travel ban targeting Muslim refugees and people from certain Muslim-majority countries.
"As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism", he said.
Leaders in American industry should look to the Merck executive's example, said Summers, who was treasury secretary under Democratic former President Bill Clinton.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger quit the Trump administration's strategic and policy forum in June after the President announced the USA would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. "Thank you, Ken Frazier, of you draw up in favour of the moral values that have made this country what it is", said Paul Polman, who is Dutch, in a tweet.
After his latest tweets, Trump left NY for his New Jersey golf club where he was scheduled to remain out of public view for the rest of the day.