Merck CEO Resigns From A Trump Business Council, Citing His Conscience


The departure of Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) CEO Kenneth Frazier from the president's American Manufacturing Council added to a storm of criticism of Trump over his handling of Saturday's violence in Charlottesville, in which a woman was killed when a man drove his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters.

In January, Merck reported that its average net prices - the amount the company receives after discounts and other rebates - increased in the years since 2010 in a range between 3.4% and 6.2%.

There are several CEOs who have chose to remain on the councils despite having differences with Trump's statements on the Charlottesville violence.

Several executives from top US companies have stepped down from a number of presidential advisory councils in protest to Trump policies. The president wrote that the Merck CEO "will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

"Following yesterday's remarks from the president, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative". Multiple people were injured in that incident and in in running clashes between white supremacists and groups opposing them.

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Mr Frazier, who is African American, said in a tweet on Monday that the country's leaders must "honour our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy".

Drug makers have come under withering criticism for soaring prices in the United States, including by Mr Trump, though he has yet to act on a promise to contain them. Trump eventually made a statement condemning bigotry Monday afternoon at a press conference.

Trumka is one of the best-known manufacturing leaders in the country.

On Sunday, however, the White House added: "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups".

Among those who've left are the chief executives for Merck, Under Armour and Intel and the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

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CEO Denise Morrison resigned from President Trump's manufacturing jobs council Wednesday, a day after the company issued a statement saying she would not step down and shortly before Trump disbanded the group in the face of growing defections.

Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier, one of only four African-Americans to now lead a Fortune 500 company, was the first to tender his resignation on Monday.

Within minutes, Trump responded by bashing Frazier on Twitter.

"Usually, certain niceties are observed to smooth over a rupture", said Galston, who served as a domestic policy aide in the Clinton administration.

"We've learned that as president, Mr Trump is behaving exactly as he did as a candidate", Mr Galston said.

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Trump immediately hit back, referring to a longstanding gripe about expensive drugs.