After Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill on January 6th, there was instant condemnation not just from many politicians, but businesses as well. The National Association of Manufacturers – a group of capitalists that tends to support Republicans – called for Trump to be removed via the 25th Amendment, while the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from 200 Fortune 500 companies, criticized Trump for inciting his supporters to attack.
Now, many businesses, banks, and even New York City, are cutting their business ties with Trump in response to the storming of the Capitol. New York City is severing multimillion dollar contracts with Trump to run ice skating rinks in Central Park, as well as a Trump golf course in the Bronx. The Professional Golf Association (PGA) decided to relocate the 2022 golf championship from the Trump owned Bedminster golf club to somewhere else. Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate agency, pledged to no longer do business with the Trump Organization. Shopify closed the Trump Organization’s online store. Perhaps most significantly, Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank said they would no longer offer their banking services to Trump or his businesses.
Even the Girl Scouts are trying to get out of lease they have on a Trump property!
But why are all these businesses just now cutting ties with Trump? He’s been in office for four years and has done plenty of horrific things. None of these businesses cut ties when the Trump administration was separating immigrant families and putting children in cages. None of them cut ties after he said that there were “fine people” on both sides of the Charlottesville protests – one side being an assortment of fascists and racists, and the other side being anti-racist. There was no massive business exodus from Trump after he had Black Lives Matter protesters tear-gassed and beaten for a photo op in front of a church, or when he implemented a Muslim ban, or after all of the dozens of accounts of sexual assault or harassment at his hands.
Why now? The truth is that none of these corporations care what Trump says or does – so long as he helps maintain their profits and the status quo that has allowed American billionaires to see their collective net worth increase by over a trillion dollars during the course of 2020, and even during the pandemic. Trump’s racism, sexism, and xenophobia were fine so long as he continued to pass tax cuts for the rich, repeal regulations on business, prioritize profit above human life – especially now during COVID-19.
But Trump inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol and install him as President for another four years because of lies about voter fraud is another story. The businesses no longer want their brands associated with Trump. They do not want to do anything that threatens the reliability and stability of their profit-making.