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US business leaders speak out against Trump
US business leaders speak out against Trump
Published at: 2 year(s) ago
WASHINGTON: Big US-based companies are joining the chorus of criticism against President Donald Trump over his orders to impose ban on refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim countries.

Tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, blasted Trump’s edict, which bars refugees from Syria and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. They were joined by a growing number of other businesses, including the Wall Street titans Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Nike, Lyft and Starbucks.

Trump’s edict — and the raucous weekend protests it sparked — also rattled investors, with stock markets taking a dive on Monday. Tech companies, which rely on foreign workers, and airlines snarled by demonstrations were hit hard in the worst trading day of Trump’s presidency and the largest daily loss since mid-October.

Many tech companies criticized Trump during the campaign for his anti-immigrant talk. Now that he’s making good on his campaign centerpieces ? a Muslim ban and a Mexico border wall ? more corporate leaders are speaking out.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Borrowing a favorite word from Trump, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called the immigrant ban “sad.” He added: “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies).”

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein sent a memo to workers denouncing Trump’s order. “This is not a policy we support,” he wrote. “Being diverse is not optional; it is what we must be.”

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman sent a similar note to staff. “We value immensely the contribution of all our employees from all over the world,” he wrote, according to CNBC. “Continuing to draw talent from across the globe is a key element of Morgan Stanley’s culture.”

Nike CEO Mark Parker

Nike CEO Mark Parker condemned the ban and pointed to Nike-sponsored athlete Sir Mo Farah, a Somali-born Olympic gold medalist living in Oregon.

“What Mo will always have — what the entire Nike family can always count on — is the support of this company,” Parker wrote in a company email. “We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every member of our family: our colleagues, our athletes and their loved ones.”

Koch brothers

Even a representative for the conservative billionaire Koch brothers slammed the immigrant ban, calling it “counterproductive.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Many companies are worried about impact on workers from around the world that they rely on. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an email to workers that the company would not exist if not for immigration, noting co-founder Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant.


Companies also are concerned about security, fearing Trump’s order will spark anti-American hatred, with boycotts of products and services. Starbucks, already a target of a Mexican boycott in retaliation for Trump’s planned wall, has slammed the president’s border policy and his immigrant ban. The coffee chain announced it’s hiring 10,000 refugees.

American consumers may not allow businesses to stay on the fence. When Uber drivers failed to honor a New York City cabbie strike Saturday to protest the traveler ban, a #DeleteUber movement was born. Lyft moved into the breach with a pledge to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Mark Fields

In a memo to employees, they said they do not support the ban. “Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world,” they wrote.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Bezos sent a memo to all of his employees stating, “This executive order is one we do not support,” and the memo listed several actions the company was taking to opposed the order.

“We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years…. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken.”

Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent

Kent said in a statement that “the Coca Cola (CCHGY) Company is resolute in its commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion, and we do not support this travel ban or any policy that is contrary to our core values and beliefs.”

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan

“As a global company, we depend upon the diverse sources of talent that our teammates represent,” Moynihan wrote in a memo to employees. He added, “In view of this, we are closely monitoring the recent refugee- and immigration-related executive order in the United States, and subsequent developments.”

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Kalanick wrote in a Facebook post that he’s committed to helping Uber drivers affected by Trump’s “unjust immigration and travel ban.”

“Drivers who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen and live in the U.S. but have left the country, will not be able to return for 90 days. This means they won’t be able to earn money and support their families during this period,” Kalanick said.

New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson and Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger

“We are committed to diversity of talent, thought and ideas and the fair and equal treatment of all employees, whatever their background,” they said in a memo to staff. “We will do everything in our power to support and protect every one of our colleagues, regardless of their race, country of origin, and religion or belief system.”


Google (GOOG) sent a memo to its employees urging anyone with a visa or green card from one of the banned countries to cancel travel plans.

“Please do not travel outside of the U.S. until the ban is lifted. While the entry restriction is currently only in place for 90 days, it could be extended with little or no warning,” reads the memo, which was reviewed by CNN.

Microsoft executive Brad Smith

Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) said it employs 76 people that could be affected by the ban. Smith said in an email to employees, which was shared on LinkedIn, that it will provide “legal advice and assistance” to those affected.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Dorsey called the potential impact of Trump’s decision “real and upsetting.”

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

Weiner said “all ethnicities should have access to opportunity, calling it a “founding principle” of the United States.
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