There’s Very Little Corporate Resistance to President Trump’s Travel Ban
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For the most part US corporate leaders are “mum” on US President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions.
While the leaders of Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) emailed their staff to denounce the suspension of the US refugee program and the halting of arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries, the vast majority of their counterparts in other industries declined to comment.
The difference in response shows the pressure large swathes of corporate America faces to avoid any publicly with the new administration. Companies such as aircraft maker Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), and automakers Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) have already had run-ins with President Trump over other issues, and they have much at stake in policy decisions that the Trump Administration will make on tax, trade and regulatory matters.
Before taking office, Donald Trump attacked Boeing over the cost of the future Air Force One program. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met with him earlier this month and said he and President Trump had made progress on the Air Force One issue and the potential sale of fighter aircraft.
Representatives from Boeing, General Motors and Ford declined to comment on President Trump’s immigration curbs.
Wall Street is looking forward to the Trump Administration’s easing some of the regulations introduced in the wake of the Y 2007-08 financial crisis and adopt a lighter touch in their enforcement.
Industries including banking, healthcare and auto manufacturing see themselves on the cusp of a new era of deregulation, and they do not want to do anything that risks offending President Trump
Representatives of Citigroup Inc.(NYSE:C), Bank of America Corp.(NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) declined to comment on the immigration order.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) said in a statement that it was reviewing the executive order and its implications for staff and its business.
JPMorgan’s (NYSEJPM) Operating Committee, which includes CEO Jamie Dimon, sent a note to staff saying it was reaching out to all employees affected and noted that the country was, “strengthened by the rich diversity of the world around us.”
But many US boardrooms kept mum. Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) declined to comment.
Many in corporate America are still trying to work out how to deal with the Trump government, one that takes a more conservative stance on some social issues and has an anti-globalization platform.
The non-tech companies that issued statements over the weekend emphasized their role as good corporate citizens, and did not openly criticize the Trump Administration’s policies.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz has put the coffee chain in the national spotlight before, asking customers not to bring guns into stores and urging conversations on race relations. In a letter to employees, he said Starbucks was developing plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years across dozens of countries, but he did not directly criticize President Trump’s executive order.
General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt told staff that the company would engage with the US government.
“We will continue to make our voice heard with the new administration and Congress, and reiterate the importance of this issue to GE and to the business community overall,” he said in a written statement.
Next week will see the see the 1st meeting of President Trump’s advisory panel of business leaders
Of the 19 leaders on that panel, just 2, Elon Musk, who founded Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX, (both rentier businesses dependent on the largess of our government) and Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber Technologies Inc., have spoken out against President Trump’s immigration curbs.
A spokeswoman for Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BK) whom President Trump tasked to set up and Chair the panel,also declined to comment publicly.