CEO of Minn.-based 3M, one of state's largest employers, quits Trump's manufacturing council
After days of consideration and in the face of mounting critiques, the CEO of Minnesota-based 3M has resigned from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council.
“I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth – in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people. After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals. As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council,” 3M chairman, president and CEO Inge Thulin said in a statement.
His resignation comes after a series of leaders quit the council in the wake of Trump’s statements about the white supremacist-led demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old, was killed when a Ohio man who joined largely white men chanting “We will not be replaced” drove his car into counterprotests. Many others were also injured when Ohio’s James Alex Fields mowed through the crowd.
Winning praise from KKK supporters and other white supremacists, Trump has praised and condemned those “both sides” of the violence.
“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,” Trump said Tuesday in a chaotic press conference.
But officials and business leaders have said there is nothing fine about those who admire Nazis and the KKK.
In recent days, five members of Trump’s manufacturing council — previously made of up business and union leaders — quit in protest.
Up until Wednesday morning, 3M officials stayed quiet, despite repeated questions and increasing pressure, on whether the Thulin would remain on the advisory group.
But Thulin broke his silence Wednesday.
“Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect upon my commitment to these values,” he said in his statement announcing his resignation. “At 3M, we will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion. I am committed to building a company that improves lives in every corner of the world.”
3M, based in Maplewood, has workers around the world and is one of Minnesota’s largest employers.