Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Trump urges Goodyear tire boycott after report company bars political attire

President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear (GT), appearing to react to a social media post suggesting the company ruled the use of his trademark “Make America Great Again” slogan unacceptable on the job, even as it permitted the use of other culturally sensitive messages — which Goodyear sought to clarify.

According to a report from an NBC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin, a Goodyear presentation slide entitled “Zero Tolerance” circulated on social media approved of pro-Black, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender messaging. However, the slide also grouped pro-Trump and pro-police messages in a category listed as “unacceptable,” along with other “politically affiliated slogans or materials.”

On Wednesday, the president — locked in a fierce reelection battle against former Vice President and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden — lashed out at the tire maker, urging his followers to boycott its products, adding that “two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!”

In response, Goodyear issued a statement saying the slide in question was “not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate,” and was not part of its core diversity training. The company insisted the backlash was part of “misconceptions about our policies,” and that it backs equality and law enforcement.

Trump is no stranger to high-profile fights with public companies, and has been wont to lash out at corporations that adopt policies unfavorable to his political or policy objectives. With his poll numbers lagging, he’s made explicit appeals to his political base in hopes of bolstering his support — which usually involves the use of highly-charged cultural issues.

Most recently, the president has moved to block the viral video app TikTok in the U.S., citing national security concerns, and has pushed for the sale of its domestic operations to an American entity.

In 2018, the president waded into a war of words with Harley Davidson (HOG), backing a boycott in response to the company relocating some operations to Europe. And in the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, he publicly lambased General Motors (GM) for not ramping up production of needed ventilator equipment, before ordering them to do so under the Defense Production Act (DPA).

Javier David is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @TeflonGeek

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