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Trump’s call for a Goodyear boycott might mean new tires for the presidential limo

August 20, 2020, 3:10 AM UTC

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’ll change the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. tires on the presidential limousine after calling for a boycott against the company for allegedly banning his trademark MAGA hats at its workplaces.

“I would swap them out based on what I heard,” Trump said of the tires on the bullet-proof limousine, known as The Beast. “We’ll see what happens.”

Earlier in the day, the president demanded a boycott of Goodyear after after an image circulated on social media that appeared to show an employee training session deeming Trump campaign apparel “unacceptable” for the workplace.

Shares of Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear fell as much as 6% shortly after Trump’s tweet. The stock pared losses later in the day and closed down about 2% at $9.50.

The image appears to show an employee training session addressing appropriate attire. Examples of “acceptable” attire or messaging included “Black Lives Matter” and LGBT statements, while “unacceptable” messaging included “MAGA Attire,” referring to Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan.

Goodyear said in a statement that the “visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.” The statement didn’t explain the origin of the image.

To maintain a work environment free of harassment and discrimination, according to the statement, Goodyear asks “that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s re-election challenger, said that the president had placed his own grievances above the welfare of Goodyear’s workers.

“Goodyear employs thousands of American workers, including in Ohio where it is headquartered,” Biden said in a statement. “To President Trump, those workers and their jobs aren’t a source of pride, just collateral damage in yet another one of his political attacks.”

In a briefing Wednesday before Trump’s news conference, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the company failed to clarify its policy in the statement, pointing out that the image also labeled as unacceptable “Blue Lives Matter” — an expression in support of police that is used in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“They came out and said equity issues,” McEnany said. “As far as I’m concerned, Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue.”

Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, slammed Trump for his tweet. “It’s absolutely despicable that the president would call for a boycott of an American company, based in Akron, that employs thousands of U.S. workers,” Brown wrote.

Goodyear tires have been seen on a range of government vehicles, including the presidential limousine and others maintained by the U.S. Secret Service.