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Trump's second travel ban - how is business responding?

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7 March 2017

USA: Several tech firms condemn revised travel ban, others yet to respond

Author: Seth Fiegerman, CNN Money (USA)

"Tech companies condemn Trump's revised travel ban", 6 Mar 2017

Top execs from several tech companies were quick to speak out against the new executive order on Monday, with some hinting at possible legal action.  "Lyft stands firmly against this order," Logan Green, Lyft's cofounder and CEO, said in a statement…Uber, Lyft's chief rival, also spoke up against the measure.  "Our sentiment has not changed: President Trump's immigration ban is unjust and wrong...Brian Chesky, Airbnb's cofounder and CEO, tweeted Monday: "Barring people from entering our country because of where they're from was wrong the first time around - still wrong"…The revised order…drops Iraq as one of the countries and exempts citizens who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. and have valid visas to enter the country…Tech companies and trade groups are still in the process of parsing through the updated immigration order and figuring out the right response…Reps for Twitter, GoPro, Salesforce and Netflix declined to comment on the revised order Monday.  Others like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. [Also refers to Affirm, PayPal, Microsoft and Mozilla].

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7 March 2017

USA: Travel industry less vocal in opposition to 2nd travel ban

Author: Andrew Sheivachman, Skift (USA)

"Travel Industry Reaction to Trump Travel Ban Is More Muted This Time", 6 Mar 2017

President Donald Trump signed a new version of his travel ban executive order on Monday, removing several...limitations that were affecting U.S. permanent residents and travelers who already have visas to enter the country.  The core of the travel ban, which limits the entry of travelers from...majority-Muslim countries, remains in place...[though]...Iraq, which was part of the previous order, isn’t banned in the new one...The travel industry has been more hesitant to respond forcefully to this executive order than it was in the aftermath of the previous order..."the Trump administration deserves some credit for the substantially more cautious and deliberate introduction of the revised executive order,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow…The Global Business Travel Administration (GBTA) also released a lukewarm statement...The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) was similarly supportive of the new order...Expedia, Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reiterated his dismay with the Trump administration's policies...TripAdvisor used the new ban to reiterate its support for refugees around the world.  [Also refers to Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)].

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16 March 2017

USA: Over 60 tech firms incl. Apple, Google & Facebook opt out of legal challenge to 2nd travel ban

Author: David Ingram, Thomson Reuters Foundation (USA)

“Apple, Google, Facebook skip legal challenge to new travel ban”, 15 Mar 2017

Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc are among more than 60 technology companies that appear to have backed away from the legal fight against U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, deciding not to put their weight behind a lawsuit seeking to block the second version of his executive order…A legal brief filed…on behalf of Silicon Valley companies listed the support of 58 companies, less than half the 127 signatories to a similar brief filed in an appeals court last month after Trump's first executive order…Airbnb Inc, Dropbox Inc and Kickstarter are among the companies that did sign the brief.  Major tech companies that signed on to the earlier effort but not this week included Microsoft Corp, eBay Inc, Intel Corp, Netflix Inc and Twitter Inc.  The lawsuit may succeed despite losing the overt support of such big names…It was not immediately clear why fewer of them signed…the…brief this time around…Uber…was in the process of adding its name, a spokesman said.  A Twitter spokeswoman pointed to past company statements opposing Trump's initial travel ban in January but declined to comment further…[Also mentions Box Inc.]

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21 March 2017

USA: UPS, Nestlé & Microsoft among govt. contractors questioned on human rights due diligence following involvement in travel ban restrictions

Author: NomoGaia (USA)

“Companies are Helping the US Government Keep Travelers Out: Is it Rights-Respectful?”, 17 Mar 2017

…[E]ven without the “Travel Ban” in effect, bureaus within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are [believed to be] restricting entry to non-citizens (and some citizens), sometimes on religious grounds. This, says the United Nations High Commissioner, violates human rights…Implementing enhanced screening and background checks requires…technologies, tools and services…provided by private sector contractors…NomoGaia reached out to 57 of the largest private contractors to DHS between February 6 and March 16, requesting information on how [they] had ensured that their goods and services were not at risk of being used to violate human rights.  Of those 57, none described any processes in place for conducting “human rights due diligence.” Only nine replied…UPS…asked to be excluded from the study.  BAE…Nestle…and Sprint…said they would get back to us but did not.  Microsoft…pointed us to public documents regarding their opposition to the ban…but not to documents addressing potential human rights implications of their government contract work.  PAE…CACI…and Northrop Grumman…declined to comment.  Battelle didn’t…reply...As companies [helping]…government implement its policies, they need to evaluate human rights risks…failure to respond brings the credibility of their policies…[and]… concern for racial and ethnic equality…into question…[Also refers to IBM, Raytheon, McKesson, United Technologies, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Bechtel, HP, SAIC, Verizon and AT&T]. 

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7 April 2017

Commentary: Business response to US travel ban - a watershed in CEO activism

Author: Vanessa Fuhrmans, Wall Street Journal (USA)

“A Watershed Moment in CEO Activism”, 4 Apr 2017

From gay rights to race relations, chief executives are speaking out in growing numbers on social policies that go beyond issues directly affecting their businesses.  But the massive response to the White House’s initial travel ban earlier this year marked a watershed moment in CEO activism…According to researchers at…Weber Shandwick, which tracked corporate reactions to the ban, at least 153 large and midsize companies spoke out; In 84% of instances, it was the CEO directly who took the stand...[This]…analysis didn’t include dozens of smaller-company leaders who also spoke out or signed open…What marked a particular shift from previous instances of executive activism was the large number of companies—48% of them—that took specific action in response to the ban, rather than simply issuing a corporate statement, tweet or employee memo...Business leaders are still figuring out the playbook on how and whether to speak out on…controversial issues, said Aaron Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business... Still, the hefty opposition to the ban shows “CEO activism has gone relatively mainstream.”  [Also refers to Alphabet, Google, Lyft, Twitter, Starbucks, PayPal, Deutsche Bank, Adidas].

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