Trump Defends Anheuser-Busch, Stays Quiet On Looming Strike

Former President Donald Trump called Anheuser-Busch a “great” company on Tuesday and suggested it was time conservatives let up on their damaging boycott of the brewmaker’s Bud Light product.

“Anheuser Busch is a Great American Brand that perhaps deserves a Second Chance?” Trump posted on Truth Social, his social media platform. “What do you think? Perhaps we should be going after those companies that are looking to DESTROY AMERICA!”

Politico reported that a GOP lobbyist for the beer giant is slated to hold a fundraiser for the former president next month as he seeks to lock up the Republican nomination. Some seats will run $10,000 a pop.

In his lengthy post defending the company, Trump declined to note that Anheuser-Busch is locked in a bitter contract battle with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union whose leadership the former president met with just last week.

The Teamsters have said they remain far apart with Anheuser-Busch on crucial issues, particularly job-security measures, and that a nationwide strike now appears “imminent and unavoidable.” Five thousand workers at a dozen breweries could hit the picket lines as early as March 1 if an agreement isn’t reached.

A Trump campaign spokesperson didn’t immediately respond when asked via email whether the former president has urged or plans to urge Anheuser-Busch to settle a contract. A Teamsters spokesperson didn’t immediately respond when asked whether the union’s president had discussed the Anheuser-Busch standoff with Trump.

Right-wing commentators stirred up a boycott of Bud Light last year after the company worked with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney on a social media promotion. Sales of Bud Light dropped sharply, and the brand lost its crown as America’s best-selling beer to Modelo. (Anheuser-Busch did not exactly endear itself to progressives, either; Mulvaney said the company never reached out to her as she endured a torrent of abuse.)

Five thousand Anheuser-Busch workers at a dozen breweries could hit the picket lines as early as March 1 if an agreement isn’t reached.

Trump said Tuesday that Bud Light had committed “a mistake of epic proportions” but insisted Anheuser-Busch is “not a Woke company.”

It remains to be seen whether Trump’s endorsement of the company could help reverse a historic sales slide for Bud Light.

Anheuser-Busch workers told HuffPost last month that the boycott had clearly reduced beer volume at the breweries and squeezed workers’ paychecks. They were eager to move on and no longer see Bud Light in the news.

“The ones picking up the tab on everything is us, the workforce,” said Levi Kovari, a brewer at the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado, facility. “We’ve seen drastic cuts in overtime on the packaging side. We’ve seen a reduction in the amount of man-hours on the brewing side. We’re all feeling the effects of all of this. But the company, they’re still spending money, and they’re still extremely profitable.”

Trump said he had had a “very productive meeting” with Teamsters officials after a closed-door discussion in Washington last week. “As you know, a big part of the voting bloc votes for me,” he told reporters. The Teamsters endorsed President Joe Biden in the 2020 race but haven’t made a 2024 endorsement yet.

The former president got a different reception from the United Auto Workers union in late January. In a speech at the union’s Washington convention, UAW President Shawn Fain gave a full-throated endorsement to Biden, then delivered a comprehensive rundown of Trump’s anti-union record and called him a “scab.”