16 July 2020 14:38
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka shared support for Goya Foods on social media US President Donald Trump and his daughter and advisor Ivanka have been criticised for endorsing a Hispanic food company on social media. The pair shared images of themselves holding Goya Foods products earlier this week, with the president saying it was "doing GREAT". It comes after the head of Goya expressed his support for Mr Trump, prompting calls to boycott the company. In a tweet on Tuesday, the president's daughter posted a picture of her holding a can of Goya black beans with the company's slogan - "If it's Goya, it has to be good" - in English and Spanish. As an employee of the US government, Ms Trump's comments may violate ethics rules which prohibit the use of public office to endorse products or bolster personal business interests.
The social media posts have also prompted ridicule, with California congresswoman Jackie Speier, a Democrat, tweeting "This is the president of the United States, selling canned goods in the [White House]". However, the White House has defended Ms Trump's tweet, saying she had "every right to express her personal support". "Only the media and the cancel culture movement would criticize Ivanka for showing her personal support for a company that has been unfairly mocked, boycotted and ridiculed for supporting this administration - one that has consistently fought for and delivered for the Hispanic community," said media director Carolina Hurley. Last week Robert Unanue, chief executive of Goya, appeared with President Trump at the White House during the announcement of a new 'Hispanic Prosperity Initiative' by the government. "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder, and that's what my grandfather did," said Mr Unanue.
The pictures could well be in violation of federal ethics rules, with The United States Office of Government Ethics' guidelines on endorsements reading: 'Executive branch employees may not use their Government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses an organization (including a nonprofit organization), product, service, or person.' The White House has however supported Ivanka's post, with a spokesperson saying: 'Only the media and the cancel culture movement would criticize Ivanka for showing her personal support for a company that has been unfairly mocked, boycotted and ridiculed for supporting this administration – one that has consistently fought for and delivered for the Hispanic community. However, former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub said the president's photo of himself with Goya products was effectively 'an official campaign by the Trump administration to support Goya, making it all the more clear that Ivanka's tweet was a violation of the misuse of position regulations'. President Donald Trump shared a picture of himself posing with Goya's products, hours after his daughter received backlash for endorsing the same brand on social media. The picture, posted on his official Instagram page on Wednesday, came after Ivanka Trump became embroiled in an endorsement row after she shared a similar image, showing her holding a can of Goya beans. The Trumps' endorsement of the Hispanic-owned brand comes after the Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised the US President at an event in the White House last week.
Ms Hurley said: "Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the US and has every right to express her personal support." In his latest Instagram photo, President Donald Trump is flashing an enthusiastic double thumbs-up, while seated behind a row of neatly lined Goya Foods products: some red kidney beans, adobo seasoning, canned white beans, coconut milk, and chocolate wafers. The president's pictorial endorsement was posted nearly a day after Ivanka Trump, his daughter and senior advisor, similarly tweeted out a photo of a can of Goya black beans alongside a somewhat eerie, sponcon-like caption: "If it's Goya, it has to be good." The images — which have drawn criticism for possibly violating government ethics standards — are the latest efforts by the Trump family to exhibit support for Goya Foods, which is facing calls for a boycott after its CEO publicly praised President Donald Trump at a White House event on July 9. "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," said CEO Robert Unanue, part of the third generation to lead the family-owned business. These Trump-related boycotts largely tend to dominate the discourse on consumer activism when it comes to shoppers' individual politics, implying there's a cultural rift between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to affiliation with certain brands. Some say Unanue's pro-Trump politics felt like a betrayal specific to the Hispanic immigrant community, given the president's history of explicitly racist remarks and anti-immigrant deportation policies; many immigrants rely on Goya — the nation's largest distributor of Hispanic foods — for staple pantry products and seasoning mixes like adobo and sazón. Yet, for a global company like Goya, Glickman thinks it would be "very difficult for boycotts to have a major economic impact" on its bottom line, given how people on both sides of the aisle might buy more or less of the products.