We no longer have a former peanut farmer in the White House. Donald Trump, America’s 45th president, made his name in Manhattan real estate and New Jersey casinos after inheriting a large portfolio of properties from his father. In other words, we have the “businessman president” Americans tended to avoid in a Commander-in-Chief. (Remember Ross Perot?)
However, just because a very wealthy man lives in the White House doesn’t mean it is good for American businesses. Corporate tax cuts would be a huge boon for corporations and millionaires if the law passes in Congress, but many companies have already suffered since Trump became president. Call it a “Trump slump” if you will. Here are some of the businesses that have gotten murdered since the start of the new administration.
When you ban someone from traveling to the U.S., people won’t be buying airline tickets there. They also won’t be staying in hotels for extended periods of time, eating out every night, and taking cars everywhere. This overall loss in international tourism pummeled the travel industry in the fist year of Trump’s presidency. Early on, the travel bans did damage, but the White House’s general hostility to foreign cultures hurt these businesses worse.
Tourist hubs like Orlando, Atlanta, and San Francisco all saw a drop in foreign arrivals the month Trump was sworn in as president. Denver’s skiing industry felt the burn that entire winter from a drop in Mexican tourism. Back East, industry forecasters said as much as $600,000 in lost wages should be expected in New York City alone as a result of the Trump tourism slump in 2017.
2. The coal industry
Donald Trump positioned himself as a staunch defender of coal businesses early and often in the 2016 campaign. That continued through the first year of his administration. In August, he bragged about ending “the war on beautiful, clean coal.” Setting aside the fiction that coal is clean, you just have to look at the financial data to see how badly the coal business has suffered under Trump.
Coal market futures and options sank to all-time lows in 2017, Bloomberg financial data showed. In fact, the NYMEX/Platts coal coking market did not register a single trade in September. From the data, it appears a greater power is waging a war on coal — that power is called “reality.”
3. The NFL
Politics can be a toxic business, and when you bring that atmosphere into a sport, the results don’t look good. We saw that in Trump’s ongoing battle over with NFL players over national anthem protests, and it’s hurt America’s most profitable sport. Not only are ratings down; licensing and merchandise sales fell as much as 20% in 2017, according to Sports Business Journal.
We know Trump received huge campaign contributions from NFL owners, so we’re guessing they could be disappointed in the return on their investment. Generally, people who are exhausted by ugly news from Washington probably don’t want to hear more when they turn on the TV to watch football on Sunday. It’s hard to blame them.
4. Ivanka Trump lines
Once Ivanka Trump got to the White House, everything about the president’s daughter got more scrutiny. That included her supposed role as “a moderating influence” on her father and her business interests around the globe. By global business interests, we mean the low-pay work done by Indonesian workers in harsh conditions, as a report from The Guardian exposed.
Naturally, the fact her clothing is manufactured by cheap labor overseas has its own “America first” branding issues. Consumers have noticed. Nordstrom dropped the Ivanka line altogether in February. Even after Kellyanne Conway told people to buy her clothing using the presidential spotlight, people turned away from the Ivanka lines.
5. Businesses around Trump Tower
The businesses around Trump Tower became a victim of the massive security presence there following the election and into 2017, when First Lady Melania and son Barron Trump continued living there. This period required a massive U.S. Secret Service presence at all times, a situation which became massively unpopular given the expense to taxpayers ($500,000 per day).
But businesses cut off from their customers suffered almost as badly. Tiffany’s alone lost 14% at the end of 2016, and the company’s stock price also got battered. Small businesses and restaurants took a far bigger hit.
6. Luxury condos
In addition to the struggles of businesses around Trump Tower, the luxury real estate market and around the president’s home has fallen severely since 2016. According to a November report from the Wall Street Journal, the price per square foot in Trump Tower sank to $2,100 per square foot. Compared to 2016, that number represented a decline of 13%. Compared to two years earlier, the 2017 figures fell by a whopping 23%.
Any realtor who made a living selling these luxury condos must be looking for different properties. Of course, it doesn’t help that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, wants to use his apartment there to get out on bail for federal money laundering charges. There’s one problem: Prosecutors didn’t think the Trump Tower condo was worth as much as Manafort claimed.
7. Climate control and aerospace
Are companies like Honeywell and United Technologies, parent company of Carrier, really struggling? It’s hard to say exactly. On the one hand, the companies outsourced a total of 1,600 jobs to foreign countries since Trump was elected. Despite Trump’s performance at the Carrier plant — and Indiana’s promise of $7 million in tax breaks to the company — the company’s planned layoffs continued in 2017.
Both Honeywell and United Technologies have the largest share of their businesses in climate control and aerospace equipment. While the companies’ stock prices rose in 2017, the offshoring of jobs would suggest America is a hostile place for these industries. Regardless, we are certain the workers who depended on these jobs feel the pain company executives do not. Those who remain working for Carrier in Indiana expect their jobs will also leave America soon.
8. Trump hotels
By April, the restaurant inside the Trump SoHo Hotel closed do to a major drop in business. As of November, The Trump Organization had announced it would sell its stake in the hotel, cutting its ties completely at the downtown Manhattan spot. Apparently, NBA teams who used to stay there no longer wanted to spend their money at a Trump property. The New York Daily News also reported the hotel could no longer book rooms at five-star prices.
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