Corporate America abandons Trump as the name turns toxic

The man who styles himself as a smart businessman did not see this coming

Out of favour: Outgoing US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Out of favour: Outgoing US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

 

In the dying days of his presidency, Donald Trump may finally have pushed his luck one too many times. After four years of steadily eroding democratic norms, it took an assault on the Capitol building in Washington DC, stoked by the outgoing president, to drive the danger home.

Now it seems people are teaming up to hit Trump where it really hurts: in his pocket.

A trickle of companies that are no longer willing to do business with the one-term president is gathering pace.

The day after the riot, in which five people died, ecommerce company Shopify said it was shutting down stores affiliated with Trump and his campaign, including trumpstore.com and shop.donaldjtrump.com, for violating its policies prohibiting the promotion or support of organisations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause.

Since then, others have followed. On Sunday, payments company Stripe said it would stop processing payments for Trump’s campaign website.

And now the PGA has decided that its 2022 US PGA golf major will no longer be held at Trump’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey. Explaining the move, organisers said using the course would be “detrimental” to their brand.

The Trump name is toxic – for now, at least.

That it took this long for companies to make the move has left them open to accusations of “performative” action. In the weeks since his election loss, Trump has been stoking the fires with claims of fraud, and urging his supporters to “stop the steal”. After striking out multiple times in the courts, Trump finally got what he wanted when his supporters marched on the Capitol.

As lawmakers ready themselves for impeachment, the response from businesses linked to him – and his supporters – has been swifter. Hotel company Marriott, Citigroup and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are among those that have distanced themselves from politicians who objected to the formal certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

The man who styles himself as a smart businessman didn’t see this coming. Or maybe he thought, as he once said, that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot someone and not lose voters. The same can’t be said of his business relationships.