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Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Corporations have to walk the razor-thin line between the demands of the left and the right or fall to their doom. In the latest iteration of the culture wars, they've have been called out on social media to sever ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Why it matters: When Delta said it was ending its NRA ties, Georgia politicians threatened to kill a tax bill it supports. But when FedEx chose to stay out of the fight against the NRA, #BoycottFedEx was born on Twitter. Delta and FedEx took opposite approaches to handling the culture wars — and they both lost.

How it happened...

  • Delta joined a slew of companies that cut ties with the NRA, only to hear from Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle — who has jurisdiction over its hub, Atlanta, where Delta is also the single largest employer.
  • Casey said he'll kill any tax legislation that benefits the airline company unless it reinstates its relationship with the NRA.
  • "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," Cagle tweeted.
  • Yes, but: It's a slippery slope, per lobbyist Bruce Mehlman. "Punishing companies with economic policy is a fast road to making social policy supreme to economic growth," he said "which is not what competitive countries do."

"There are two things that are hitting companies simultaneously," Axios CEO Jim VandeHei said on CBS This Morning.

  1. Social media mobs. "People can instantly put pressure on companies to make big decisions about their products." We saw it yesterday with FedEx and in August, when CEOs fled Trump's business councils after his incendiary comments on the violent clashes in Charlottesville.
  2. "The millennial workforce has a different expectation of us as employers. They expect you to take a stand; they expect you to have opinions; they expect you to stand for something bigger than just profit."

Go deeper with earlier stories on the issue by VandeHei and Mike Allen:

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by the Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.