By MARK MILLAR, Associated Press The clothing industry is a big moneymaker for retailers and for some politicians.
They’re big donors to politicians, and they help keep politicians in office.
And for some of them, the money helps pay for their personal and political travel.
The top donors are American manufacturers like Gap and Macy’s, whose profit margins are among the highest in the world.
But many others, like retailers like H&M, which made $1.7 billion in profit last year, aren’t making much money.
Instead, they’re making the biggest contributions to the political campaigns of lawmakers.
In the 2016 election cycle, for instance, American retailers spent $2.4 million on political donations, a quarter of the $3.4 billion they spent in all of 2015.
The industry is also one of the biggest sources of campaign contributions, giving $5.3 million to both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns.
They have made big contributions in recent years, but they haven’t always been as large as they are now.
The big money in the industry came as Congress grappled with the opioid crisis, with President Donald Trump declaring a federal emergency for the opioid epidemic.
And as Republicans and Democrats struggled to find solutions to the health care bill, the industry contributed $2 million to Democrats and Republicans alike.
But the industry’s political contributions have fallen off a cliff since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which extended health insurance coverage to millions more Americans.
Now, they are the smallest they’ve been since the financial crisis of 2008.
The $2 billion that the industry donated to Democrats in the 2016 cycle was the biggest in more than a decade.
That was before Trump took office.
That’s when Republicans and conservatives who control Congress passed the Affordable Healthcare Act and the House passed a $1 trillion tax cut bill, which is now awaiting the Senate’s approval.
Those laws gave large corporations and the wealthy a break on taxes.
And those tax cuts helped them offset losses on investments in equipment, such as machinery and robots.
But those tax breaks were unpopular with many Americans.
They also made it harder for American manufacturers to compete in a global marketplace.
In a study released earlier this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the tax cuts made it much harder for U.S. businesses to create and invest in the new technologies needed to keep pace with the fast-changing world.
So while the manufacturing sector contributed a bit more to the Democrats’ presidential campaigns, the GOP and its allies in Congress, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, spent less than $500,000 each.
And that’s not the only thing they spent less on.
A recent analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics found that the Republican Party spent almost $2,000 more per person on political contributions than the Democratic Party did in 2016.
But that difference is dwarfed by the $10,000 difference that companies and unions spent in 2016, and even $3,000 between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate.
What’s the bottom line?
For many American businesses, the Affordable Health Care Act and a bipartisan effort to overhaul the tax code, are their best chance to compete with a world that’s increasingly focused on efficiency and cost.
But with so much attention being paid to the economy and jobs, Americans aren’t always thinking about the economic impacts of their politics.
The health care debate has given companies a chance to get back to basics and get back on the right track, said Matt Gurney, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.
But even with the health law, the manufacturing industry still has to pay more in taxes and a lot of it is done overseas.
If companies are going to make money in America, they need to make their profits here.
It’s a good opportunity to make a big investment, but also to create jobs here in America,” he said.