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Opinion
Brooke Sutherland

Trump’s Attack on Goodyear Makes America Worse

The tire maker joins a long list of U.S. corporations that have been targeted by the president, whose instinct is to shoot first and ask questions later.

Goodyear Tire is en especially curious target for an American president in an election year.

Goodyear Tire is en especially curious target for an American president in an election year.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Donald Trump’s attempts to use the office of the presidency to call for a boycott of an American company have always been jarring and alarming. But the latest broadside against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. feels particularly shortsighted. 

On Wednesday, Goodyear joined a long list of corporations whose products the president has said should be shunned at one point or another. The list — which stretches even longer if you include companies targeted over the course of his campaign — is a who’s who of the American way of life, ranging from Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Harley-Davidson Inc., Macy’s Inc. and Oreo-maker Mondelez International Inc. He’s also threatened to cancel an order for a new Air Force One jet from Boeing Co. and yank unspecified subsidies for General Motors Co. The reasons for the boycotts range from disagreements over operating decisions such as factory relocations or product selection; a means of pressure for jobs initiatives; leverage for government contract negotiations; and just general dislike. He’s never cared very much if the issues that are the grist for his corporate attacks conflict with or are the result of some of his own policies, nor has he been particularly focused on achieving more than a publicity stunt in most instances.