Corporate America wants to distance itself from Trump. Is it too late?
The insurrection at the Capitol has inspired companies to make their thoughts on the matter known. Many brands have announced that they have decided to stop supporting Trump-adjacent bodies, or to stop donations to lawmakers and groups that have expressed support for the baseless claims that the election was a sham. Our corporate overlords have decided to make their stance clear by way of making public statements, pulling funds, and other actions.
These types of moves are a part of a larger pattern in the past few years — remember all the brands that suddenly had opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement around June 2020? As Meredith Haggerty previously wrote for The Goods, the days of the silent brand presence are over. In times of unrest and uncertainty, corporations clearly feel vulnerable. They don’t know if we’ll turn on them for their silence.
It’s a high-stakes situation — taking a stand against President Trump could lose or gain a brand thousands of customers, depending on which brand and how the stance is expressed. It sometimes feels like corporations respond more promptly to the concerns of Americans in uncertain times than our legislative bodies do. Yet it can be of little comfort and vaguely condescending to have a brand let people know they’re on their team. Posturing aside, the decisions brands make can have a serious effect on our lives. Is corporate America really going to turn against the GOP, which arguably has been its biggest ally?
The insurrection may have spawned a new turning point — brands don’t want to be caught in the fallout of a potentially traitorous act. The decisions are mostly symbolic but could kick off real change in the future. Here, we’ve compiled information about corporate and brand responses to the insurrection, and their repercussions. We don’t yet know how long these decisions will last, or what their future ramifications will be, but as we learn more, this story will be updated with new information.
According to Popular Information, 3M said it will pause its “federal and state political expenditures for the first quarter of the year.”
In a statement, Airbnb said it would “withhold support” from lawmakers who voted against election certification.
According to Popular Information, American Airlines said it will take a “three month pause” on political giving.
In an internal memo, the CEO of American Express said that the company’s PAC will no longer support those who objected to the results of the election.
According to Popular Information, AT&T, which has made the largest contributions to Republicans who voted against election certification, will suspend contributions.
Bank of America
Bank of America said that in the next election cycle, it will “review [its] decision making criteria” when it comes to making donations.
According to the Washington Post, Blackrock is stopping its political donations.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has announced that it is suspending PAC contributions to lawmakers who voted to challenge the election results.
Boston Scientific has stated it will temporarily suspend its PAC contributions.
BP says it will halt PAC contributions for six months.
According to an internal memo obtained by Popular Information, Citibank said it will suspend its PAC contributions for three months.
Charles Schwab said it will stop its PAC donations for the rest of 2021.
In a statement, Comcast said that it will suspend contributions to those who voted against the certification of the election results.
Commerce Bancshares said in a statement that it is suspending “all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power.”
The gas company ConocoPhillips said it is halting its donations and reviewing its giving practices.
Deloitte has announced that it will suspend its political contributions.
Deutsche Bank, to whom Trump currently owes over $300 million, has stated it will no longer do business with the president going forward. It also will refrain from doing business with those who voted against the certification of the election results.
Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company is suspending its corporate and employee PAC contributions for one election cycle.
ExxonMobil, the second-largest contributor to senators who voted against election certification, said it is reviewing its PAC contributions.
Facebook told Popular Information that it will pause its PAC donations for “at least the current quarter.”
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is suspending its employee political action committee, due to the 2020 presidential election and the insurrection at Capitol Hill.
General Motors released a statement saying that its “PAC contributions will be evaluated to ensure candidates align with our core values.”
In a statement to the New York Times, Goldman Sachs said it plans to stop all political donations.
In a statement, H&R Block said it is halting its PAC donations.
Hallmark is requesting refunds from Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) to return their PAC contributions, in light of their votes against election certification.
Hilton has announced that it will suspend its PAC contributions indefinitely.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Intel will be suspending donations to those who objected to election certification.
JPMorgan Chase said that it will pause PAC contributions for six months.
Lehigh University has stripped Trump of his honorary degree, which was awarded in 1988.
As first reported by Popular Information, Marriott said it is no longer donating to members who voted against election certification.
In an internal announcement obtained by Popular Information, Mastercard said that it has suspended PAC contributions to members who voted against the certification of the election.
In an internal memo reported on by Business Insider, the CEO of McDonald’s condemned the insurrection at the Capitol, stating that it was “an attack on all those things that people cherish and associate with America. That includes McDonald’s.”
Microsoft told Popular Information that until it reviews the events at the Capitol, it will not be making political contributions.
Middlebury College is considering revoking Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s honorary degree, which was awarded in 2005, on account of his role in “fomenting the violent uprising against our nation’s Capitol building.”
According to Business Insider, Morgan Stanley will suspend all PAC donations to those who voted against certifying the results of the election.
PGA of America
PGA of America has announced that it will no longer host the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club. The Trump Organization says this is a breach of contract.
Shopify has closed two online stores tied to Trump’s organization and his campaign.
Signature has said it is closing President Trump’s personal accounts with the bank, and has called for him to resign in the wake of the events of the Capitol.
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster has dropped Sen. Hawley’s book deal.
Stripe said it will stop processing online payments for Trump’s campaign website.
According to Popular Information, UnitedHealth Group said it will pause its donations “to federal candidates.”
In a statement to Reuters, Verizon said it will suspend contributions to those who objected to election certification.
In a statement to Popular Information, Visa announced that it will temporarily suspend all its political donations.
Wagner College has stripped Trump of his honorary degree, which was awarded in 2004.
Author: Melinda Fakuade