© Reuters. LARGE GROUPS OPT FOR THE LOBBYING
by Jeffrey Dastin and David Shepardson
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – large companies such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Toyota (T:7203) or Alcoa (NYSE:AA) consider ways to implement to avoid the consequences of the commercial policy of Donald Trump or influence the decisions of its directors in the matter.
Although they refuse any direct confrontation with the president of the United States, they wish to exert as much influence as possible to dissuade him from denouncing the trade agreements in force or the introduction of new customs duties.
Amazon, the biggest business in the world of online sales and “cloud computing”, which could be heavily penalised by these tariffs, is planning to launch advertising campaigns, and to intensify efforts in the area of political lobbying, has one learned from source close to these reflections. When questioned on the matter, the company declined to comment.
Toyota Motor North America, who fear that Donald Trump will not put in execution his threats of taxation of imports of cars and spare parts foreign, has sent employees to manifest this week in front of the Capitol, while the owner of the american subsidiary of the japanese manufacturer is maintained with parliamentarians.
The leaders of General Motors (NYSE:GM) have also met with members of the administration and the Congress during the past year to voice their concerns. Of new customs duties, was notified in late June from the manufacturer, would reduce its presence in the domestic market as well as abroad.
The largest automaker in the u.s. is on the verge of hiring Everett Eissenstat, the former deputy director of the national economic Council and a former adviser to Trump international economic affairs, who has just left the White House, according to sources close to the matter.
The company does not exclude this possibility, but has not confirmed. Everett Eissenstat is not able to be contacted.
The companies that patissent already applied tariffs from June to the steel and aluminium, also argued for a relaxation of these measures.
The CEO of Alcoa said during a conference call with investors that the company was in “active discussions” with the administration Trump, the Commerce department and Congress to obtain the lifting of such rights or, failing that, an exception for Canada, his first supplier.
The firm has considered this week to $ 14 million the additional cost monthly of the taxation of imports of aluminum in canada.
In addition to steel and aluminum, the administration Trump has threatened to introduce customs duties of 10% to $ 200 billion of chinese products ranging from furniture to routers computer.
Amazon has done the inventory of the articles in question to assess the cost of this measure, it is said in Seattle. The firm redoubt, in particular an increase in the cost of equipment used in its “data centers”, which is likely to harm the competitive position of Amazon Web Services. The unit of “cloud computing” is the most profitable of the company.
“I don’t know many companies that are able to escape the risks related to customs duties,” comments about him, Dean Garfield, executive director of the Information Technology Industry Council, to which belong in particular the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGLE).
Political lobbying can be expensive and offers no guarantee of success, but some have shown interest.
Donald Trump has promised to the boss of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook as iPhones assembled in China would be exempt from customs duties on chinese products, has reported in June the New York Times.
(With Nandita Bose, Jean-Philippe Lefief for the French service)