21 August, 2017
President Trump is scrapping plans for a business panel on infrastructure, according to USA media reports.
After Trump's response to violence at a white nationalist rally over the weekend that many considered inadequate, business leaders started to drop out of advisory councils.
"In addition, the President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward", a White House official said in a statement distributed to reporters on Thursday evening. Corporate chief executive officers had started to quit the panels in protest over Trump's remarks that appeared to confer legitimacy on white supremacists following a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12.
That prompted business leaders to quit his manufacturing and policy councils, and drew criticism from the bosses of other large U.S. firms including Apple and JP Morgan.
On Tuesday, while in New York, Trump signed an executive order related to one aspect of his infrastructure-related ambitions: dramatically reducing the permitting time for new highways.
At the start of the year he said he was planning the council and named two well known NY property developers to lead the group.
Shortly after taking office in January, Trump tapped two Manhattan real estate developers, Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, to head up a council aimed at guiding Trump's promised $1 trillion infusion into roads, bridges, airports and other aging infrastructure.