Trump drops plan to create infrastructure council, White House says

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has abandoned plans to create an infrastructure advisory council, the White House said on Thursday, the day after two other advisory groups were dismantled over the furor caused by Trump's remarks on white supremacists.

"The President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward," a White House official said.

The decision to drop the planned council was first reported by Bloomberg.

CEO's leaving Trump's manufacturing council
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CEO's leaving Trump's manufacturing council
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Merck & Co. CEO Ken Frazier
Founder and CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank
Chief Executive Officer of Intel Brian Krzanich
President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing Scott Paul
AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee
3M Company CEO Inge Thulin (L), Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell (C) and General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic attend a meeting held by U.S. President Donald Trump with manufacturing CEOs at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump signed an executive order last month establishing the council, with members to be drawn from real estate, construction, transportation and other sectors of the economy.

Trump has proposed spending $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure, a major part of his legislative agenda along with healthcare and tax reform.

On Wednesday, Trump disbanded two high-profile advisory groups after several chief executives quit in protest over his remarks blaming violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend on anti-racism activists as well as white nationalists.

Trump said he dissolved the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum "rather than putting pressure" on its members, although both groups were preparing to disband on their own when Trump made his announcement on Twitter.

The snubs from chief executives raised questions about Trump's ability to marshal the business community behind his policy goals.

A Wall Street analyst, Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama, said that because the infrastructure panel had yet to get off the ground, its demise was less important than the scrapping of the other two groups.

"But it contributes to the uncertainty that's creeping in" about Trump's agenda, Hellwig said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Additional reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Bill Rigby and Leslie Adler)

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