Feb 13, 2017

Retailers play dicey game with Trump

People following the fight over the border adjustment tax are paying close attention to a Washington Post article about Sears and Kmart "joining other retailers in dropping Trump-branded items."

The Post reports: "In the past week or so, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Belk stopped selling Ivanka Trump's name-branded line of clothing, shoes and jewelry amid an aggressive campaign to boycott the Trump brand."

Why this matters: Much of the retail industry is trying to persuade President Trump to oppose the House Republican border adjustment tax proposal, which would hike taxes on imports while exempting exports. A Republican strategist points out the challenge in lobbying Congress and the Trump administration on tax policy while also distancing themselves from Trump-branded products.

What's next: It's fair to question whether these retailers' powers of persuasion might be dampened once Trump sees more companies dropping his family's products. That's not how presidential power is supposed to work, but it's reality. Retailers know they are now dealing with a President who sees no problem with tweet-bashing a company over dropping his daughter's clothing line.

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