President-elect Donald Trump has never been accused of keeping his opinions to himself, and that certainly holds true for corporate America. On the election trial and in the weeks since his victory at the polls, Mr. Trump has relied on his Twitter account to air his grievances with everything from companies’ tax policies to their late-night comedy shows.
Critics say his tactics amount to bullying, while some supporters cheer on Mr. Trump’s brand of call-outs. One thing is certain: there’s never before been a president-elect who has so publicly criticized some of America’s biggest brands.
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Trump's Twitter snub
Mr. Trump relies on Twitter to get across his views to his 17 million followers, so it struck many observers as ironic that the company wasn’t invited to the president-elect’s tech summit in December.
Mr. Trump’s staff said Twitter was left off the list because the transition team didn’t have room for the company. Nevertheless, Politico reported the snub was due to Twitter’s refusal to allow Mr. Trump’s campaign to use an emoji version of his #CrookedHillary hashtag.
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Vanity Fair's Trump troubles
On Dec. 15, Mr. Trump took a break from promoting his rallies and denying Russian involvement in the U.S. election to bash the Conde Nast magazine Vanity Fair on Twitter. He described it as: “Way down, big trouble, dead!” Why the sudden attack on the popular culture magazine?
That would be a negative review of Mr. Trump’s Trump Grill, which the magazine said “could be the worst restaurant in America.” The reviewer described the food as “rich-man slop” and derided the brassy decor as looking like it was “bought from Home Goods.”
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Trump singles out little-known Rexnord
“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!” Trump wrote on Dec. 2 about this industrial maker of bearings and gears.
The tweet was another example of Trump’s reliance on social media to bash companies that are moving jobs outside the U.S., a strategy that has won him a few concessions but which economists say is unlikely to change the prevailing labor trends.
During the first two weeks of December, Rexnord’s (RXN) stock declined about 10 percent, compared with a 3.7 percent gain for the S&P 500.
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Mr. Trump lashes out at NBCUniversal
Donald Trump continues to have a working relationship with NBCUniversal, retaining his executive producer title on the NBC network’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” (Mr. Trump is pictured here at a January 2015 promotional event for the show, before he announced his presidential bid.)
That hasn’t kept him from lashing out at the network with memorable sulks against NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which has satirized him a number of skits starring Alec Baldwin.
“Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad,” Trump tweeted in early December.
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Trump singles out Boeing's Air Force One costs
Boeing (BA) faced Mr. Trump’s ire earlier this month when the president-elect grumbled on Twitter about the cost to replace Air Force One.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” he wrote.
Boeing’s shares slipped slightly after Trump’s tongue-lashing, losing nearly $1 billion in value in the hours after his tweet, although the shares soon recovered, gaining 2 percent during the first two weeks of December.
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Mr. Trump locks in on Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin (LMT) caught the president-elect’s eye with the estimated costs for its F-35 fighter jet, which are each projected to cost $85 million in 2019 and 2020.
“The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th,” Mr. Trump tweeted earlier this month.
Lockheed Martin’s stock declined almost 6 percent during the first two weeks of December.
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Mr. Trump's Carrier campaign
Both before and after the election, Mr. Trump targeted United Technology’s Carrier for its plan to move 1,000 jobs out of the U.S. and into Mexico.
“I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS - Will know soon!” -- Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump made good on his vow through reported offerings of millions in tax breaks.
Mr. Trump also took to Twitter to insult a union leader who represented the workers and who had said Mr. Trump “lied” about the number of jobs he had saved. Uh-oh: “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” Mr. Trump wrote.
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Mr. Trump dunks Oreo cookies
During the campaign, Mondelez’s Oreo cookie brand was targeted by Mr. Trump, who vowed to never eat another one because the company was moving some Chicago-based jobs to Mexico.
General Motors (GM) was singled out by Mr. Trump as a company that’s moving jobs out of the U.S.
“Many companies -- like Ford, General Motors, Nabisco, Carrier -- are moving production to Mexico,” Trump said in a June statement. Yet whether he’ll continue to pick on GM remains unclear, especially as his reference to GM was deleted on his campaign’s website.
GM CEO Mary Barra (pictured here) has agreed to join Mr. Trump’s economic advisory team.
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Mr. Trump's ire at Disney's IT problem
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) came under fire by Mr. Trump on the campaign trail for its decision to fire U.S.-based IT workers and replace them with cheaper Indian employees on H-1B visas. Disney reportedly had asked its American workers to train their replacements, which caused an uproar with many voters, including Mr. Trump.
“I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions,” Trump said in a statement.
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Apple gets cored by Mr. Trump
Apple (AAPL) may be the most valuable U.S. company, but that doesn’t make it immune from Mr. Trump’s ire.
He called for a boycott of Apple earlier this year over its refusal to unlock the cell phones of the Riverside, California, terrorists.
“Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal,” he wrote on Twitter. (In 2014, he predicted Apple’s stock would fall because what he viewed as a too-small screen, and said he had sold his shares. The stock has increased 5.5 percent during the past two years.)
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Ford in Mr. Trump's headlights
Ford (F) was a punching bag of Mr. Trump’s on the campaign trail, with the candidate singling out the automaker for moving jobs out of the U.S. “So Ford is leaving. You see that their small car division [is] leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving. And we can’t allow it to happen anymore,” he said in a debate.
In November, Mr. Trump took credit for what he said was Ford’s reversal on a decision to move work to Mexico. However, critics said that Mr. Trump overstated his role in what was a complicated labor issue.
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GE's out-of-state move
General Electric (GE) was hit by Mr. Trump for its decision to move its headquarters from Connecticut to Massachusetts, with Mr. Trump calling it “devastating.”
“It’s so devastating to lose a company like General Electric ... I’m going to bring jobs back to Connecticut and to the country. We’re not going to let them go to Mexico. … They’re going everywhere but here because we have people that don’t know how to deal, they don’t know how to make deals,” Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail.
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Amazon takes heat from Mr. Trump
Amazon (AMZN) may be a favorite of millions of Americans, but it doesn’t apparently count Mr. Trump as a fan. The president-elect bashed Amazon earlier this year, saying the company “has a huge antitrust problem.”
It may be no coincidence that Amazon is run by Jeff Bezos, the billionaire who owns The Washington Post, whose editorial board wrote that Mr Trump is “uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament.”
Still, Bezos was included in Mr. Trump’s December tech summit.
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Macy's storied history with Mr. Trump
Macy’s (M) has a business history with Mr. Trump, with the department store selling Trump-branded clothing items. But the company dropped the line when Mr. Trump made derogatory comments about immigrants, such as his description of Mexicans as “rapists” and “murderers.”
Trump bashed the company on Twitter earlier this year: Macy’s “was one of the worst performing stocks on the S&P last year, plunging 46%. Very disloyal company. Another win for Trump! Boycott.”
Macy’s stock has increased about 15 percent this year.