GE Chairman Jeff Immelt announced in an official statement that he will leave US President Trump’s Commitee on Advanced Manufacturing, saying he was “deeply troubled” by the President’s recent statements which – according to widespread consensus – failed to adequately condemn right wing extremism in the recent violent episodes in Charlottsville, Virginia.
Immelt is the latest high profile corporate figure that chose to leave Trumps Committee on American Manufacturing, which was established last January, as one of the very first executive decisions by the newly elected president. Before Immelt, Tesla‘s Elon Musk also left the Committee, in the wake of Trump’s decision to back the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“There would be no GE without people of all races, religions, genders and sexual orientations – Immelt’s statement continues. GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottsville last weekend.”
“I joined the President’s Committee on Manufacturing because engagement with government on economic policy is very important for GE, our employees, and partners. As a company that exports over $20 billion of American made goods to the world, I believe we are best served when we constructively engage with leaders in the United States and around the world. The Committee I joined had the intention to foster policies that promote American manufacturing and growth. However, given the ongoing tone of the discussion, I no longer feel that this Council can accomplish these goals. Therefore I notified members of the council this morning that I could no longer serve on the President’s Committee on American Manufacturing.”
Although Trump has repeated that for every high profile manager that leaves the committee there are new ones ready to take his or her place, the list of positions to fill i the Committee is getting longer. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich also left the Committee two days ago. Before him, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier had also both resigned.
Other large manufacturing companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have not voiced the intention to leave the President’s Committee.
Update: 0:22 am (CET)
President Trump has officially ended the Committees announcing it via Twitter: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”