Federal ethic rules dictate that having an official position in the government must not be used for personal gain. The rules weigh even more heavily on whoever becomes the president of the United States. With Donald Trump as the new US president, every move he makes is scrutinized. So, his recent tweet bashing a private company obviously drew attention from the public.
President Donald Trump vs. Nordstrom
The issue starts with Nordstrom cutting business ties with President Trump’s daughter Ivanka. In the company’s defense, sales of Ivanka’s clothing line was deteriorating which affected Nordstrom’s profit. A normal president would not comment or attack the company. But, Trump is different:
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
On the other hand, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer defended the President’s tweet. He explained that Trump was just reacting as a father. He believed that Trump’s reaction was just normal because he was only standing up for a family member.
Many people started to call for a boycott of Trump-related businesses. Nordstrom is also one of the many big businesses who use their influence to campaign against Trump’s policies. The company issued a statement to its employees that they value immigrants, just after the President’s declaration of a new executive order.
The Imminent Danger
The previous chief ethics lawyer of the White House, Richard W. Painter, shared his predictions on what’s looming ahead because of Trump’s tweet. According to his article on The New York Times, Trump clearly intimidated Nordstrom. It didn’t help that the President even used his White House account to address his woes towards the issue.
Now, here’s the disadvantage of Nordstrom: executive branches under Trump administration would most likely don’t want anything to do now with the company. As a business establishment, Nordstrom interacts with agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Labor. This disadvantage doesn’t necessarily have to happen. But, it is certainly possible.
After the spectacle Trump made on social media, Nordstrom and other similar companies are now possibly cautious to continue their businesses under the new president’s administration. What if another company needs to drop Ivanka’s clothing line? The fear businesses acquire just because of the President is not normal nowadays. Business decisions that have to include whether the President would like it or not are weak ones. That could lead to the company’s downfall.
The Sacrifices Made for Free Market in the US
Based on American history, the forefathers started a revolution to completely eliminate Britain’s mercantilism. In the past, the King and the Parliament members prioritized a few selected businesses. Those businesses were obviously yielding to the powerful people’s personal interests. The revolutionaries deemed the whole process corrupt and abusive to small or independent businesses. For many years, the Republicans fought for an economy with markets free from any government-based decision.
A President using his power to promote his family’s businesses is one irresponsible and unethical move. But, a President who also sabotages the family’s rival businesses? Now, that’s another huge issue. Who would’ve thought that aside from immigrants, freedom of the press and other societal concerns, free market is also in danger now? The list may go on in the near future.