Jan 31, 2019

The outdoors vs. Trump

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's latest headache comes from outdoor brands increasingly radicalized by climate change and his stewardship of public lands.

Driving the news: Trade groups representing hundreds of outdoor companies announced a new effort this week to push for policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explore renewable energy.

  • During the government shutdown, Columbia took out full page ads to urge the government to reopen to aid public parks. 
  • Just last year, Patagonia said the company would donate $10 million to non-profit groups that work on climate and environment issues. 
  • The companies also banded together to protest Trump's plan to make big cuts to the size of two national monuments in Utah in 2017.

Why it matters: The big outdoor brands — including REI, Patagonia, Columbia and North Face — have monster social media presences and significant brand loyalty from affluent customers.

  • “These national brands have a reach that nonprofit advocates could only dream of, and they have been using that megaphone in a really effective way to remind people of this issue,” Kayje Booker of the Montana Wilderness Association told the AP.
  • “[W]hen President Trump was elected, some of the threats to our public lands became more high profile,” Outdoor Industry Association executive director Amy Roberts told the AP.

The big picture: More people in the U.S. want brands to take a stand on societal issues, especially on climate change.

  • 51% of Americans want corporations to act to influence policy on climate change, according to a report from Morning Consult.
  • But most consumers don't typically like when companies address issues pegged to Trump, even if many of his actions are what bring certain issues to the public debate.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.