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Trump's travel ban - how is business responding?

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6 February 2017

97 companies file legal action against US President Trump over travel ban

Author: Mark Bergen & Sarah Frier, The Independent UK

“Apple, Facebook, Uber, Google, Intel, Snap and Netflix join slew of companies to take legal action against Trump”, 6 February 2017

Ninety-seven companies, from Apple to Zynga, filed an impassioned legal brief condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, stepping up the industry’s growing opposition to the policy. [P]articipating technology companies include Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Snap and Uber Technologies. Companies beyond technology signed on as well, including Levi Strauss & Co and yoghurt maker Chobani. [A] US district judge temporarily lifted the Trump administration’s ban, freeing refugees and visa holders to enter the US. An appeals court declined to immediately reinstate the immigration restrictions over the weekend. The technology industry has been among the most vocal in opposition to Trump’s immigration policies. Bloomberg News reported earlier that several large tech companies, including Microsoft and Alphabet, [plan] to sign an open letter to President Trump expressing concern about the immigration order and offering help fixing it and other policies.

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Author: Claude Leguilloux, Boursier.com

« Vigeo Eiris remonte les scores de trois entreprises américaines », 6 février 2017

Vigeo Eiris émet une alerte positive remontant les scores de trois entreprises américaines - Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft - dans le domaine des Droits de l'Homme, suite à leur décision de déclencher un recours judiciaire contre le décret anti-immigration du Président Donald Trump interdisant aux ressortissants de sept pays l'entrée sur le territoire américain...

Par ce moyen, Vigeo Eiris élève son niveau d'assurance sur la volonté et la capacité des trois sociétés...d'intégrer à leurs stratégies et à leurs processus managériaux la prévention des violations des droits de l'Homme (y compris de façon indirecte par omission ou par complicité), le respect des libertés individuelles, notamment la liberté de circulation, et la non-discrimination en raison des origines, des croyances et des opinions...

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6 February 2017

Ben & Jerry's release global response to Trump's executive order

Author: Ben & Jerry's

 “It’s Time to Stand Up and Stand Together”, 29 January 2017

[W]e strongly denounce the executive order that President Trump issued banning people entry to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries...This is a direct assault on the US’s commitment to fairness, the rule of law, and religious liberty…The impact of this policy is to deny entry to some of the most vulnerable people in the world, forced from their homes and fleeing unthinkable violence. It also denies entry to some of the world’s best doctors, scholars, and artists depriving the US of the diversity which has made it what it is. This executive order does not make us stronger or safer, in fact it does just the opposite. It’s also bad for the business community which relies upon our diverse and inclusive workplaces that make us more competitive while fostering innovation... We call on our leaders around the world to denounce this policy, which can only further division and to stand up for a world that values openness and compassion. 

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6 February 2017

Business community rolls out in opposition to Trump's immigration ban

Author: Gretchen Rydin, Human Rights First

"Business Community Embraces “American Ideals” in Response to Trump’s Immigration Ban", 1 February 2017

The business community is far from silent in response to President Trump’s Executive Order halting refugee resettlement and banning immigrants from certain Middle Eastern countries. Airbnb, Twitter, Tesla, Etsy, Dropbox, Netflix, Facebook...immediately posted their responses on social media, celebrating the American ideals of diversity, religious freedom, and inclusiveness. [C]ompany CEOs [from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Proctor and Gamble, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Ford] emailed heart-felt messages to employees, concerned about the immigration ban’s impact on company culture and talent and many offering legal assistance. Several businesses [including Starbucks and Lyft] pledged funds – and some a commitment to hiring refugees – to help fight for those affected by the ban. Many more companies released statements that refuse to support this policy [including Coca-Cola, Nike, HP and Intel]. Human Rights First is fighting back against this executive order, offering pro bono legal assistance to refugees and pressing Congress and the administration to revoke the order.


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6 February 2017

Chobani founder responds to Trump's executive order promising help to employees impacted by ban

Author: Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Cristina Alesci, CNN Money USA

"Chobani CEO finds Trump's travel ban 'personal for me'", 30 January 2017

President Trump's travel ban hit the founder of the Chobani yogurt company close to home. "As an immigrant who came to this country looking for opportunity, it's very difficult to think about … what millions of people around the world must be feeling…America has always been a symbol of hope, tolerance and diversity…these are values we must work very hard to uphold"...Ulukaya, 44, a Kurd from Turkey, started his company…in 2007. At the time, he had just five employees. Now, the New York-based yogurt maker employs more than 2,000 people in his two factories, and makes more than $1 billion in revenue annually. Ulukaya promised to help those employees impacted by the executive order. "I've directed our Legal and HR teams to explore whether any member of our company or their family members are affected and provide whatever assistance they need." The travel ban has inspired an outpouring of support for refugees from American companies and executives [including Ford and Apple].

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6 February 2017

USA: Leber Jeweler calls on all companies to commit to human rights & environment, opposes Trump's exec. order

Author: Brian Leber, CEO of Leber Jeweler Inc.

For many years Leber Jeweler Inc has stood up to dictatorships and oppressors throughout the world. From Angola to Zimbabwe, the Taliban to the Tatmadaw. For our work, we encountered obstacles and navigated threats to our personal safety, yet remained steadfast in the belief that wrongs need to be righted at any cost, lest we lose what we treasure most...[W]e never...thought we'd be taking on a similar struggle...in our own country... Now we stand, a nation founded and built by immigrants, on the precipice of a cliff where the values we hold most dear... are threatened. In 1910, the founder of our company...left his home in...Bohemia, bound for America...[T]o turn away an entire class of human beings, many of whom are refugees fleeing violence, is mean-spirited. It is unacceptable. It is irresponsible. It is also un-American. At Leber Jeweler Inc, we stand firmly opposed to the Executive Order... We condemn these actions as harmful to both our country and to the world...[W]e will continue our work on behalf of human rights and the environment, in defense of kindness and humanity... We know this struggle is never ending, but it is the duty of every person and of every company to commit to this greater cause...

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6 February 2017

USA: Nike & Adidas among first apparel companies to take public stance against Trump's order

Author: Kyle Munzenrieder, W Magazine

"Both Nike and Adidas Speak Out Against Trump's Travel Ban", 31 Jan 2017

[It is rare] that...sneaker companies speak out on politics. Yet, both the CEO of...Nike and...Adidas have spoken publicly against...Trump's...travel ban. [B]oth companies support athletes, employees, and creatives across the globe. "Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity," read [Nike CEO] Parker's statement."Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole." He then highlighted the story of Nike-sponsored athlete Mo Farah, a British citizen born in Somalia...based near the Nike Oregon Project... Somalia is one of seven countries singled out in Trump's...order. Adidas also iterated their corporate concern about the ban in a statement. "Our company is built on the core belief that 'through sport, we have the power to change lives, [s]port has shown in the past and will show over and over again in the future that it can bring people together from all over the world—regardless of their nationality, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation." Nike and Adidas join a growing list of major companies voicing their opposition to or concern about the ban...[refers to Apple, Google, Netflix, Starbucks].

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6 February 2017

Vigeo Eiris upgrades scores for Amazon, Expedia & Microsoft following legal actions by companies against travel ban

Author: Vigeo Eiris France

"Vigeo Eiris issues a positive alert on three US companies taking legal actions against President's anti-immigration decree ("Muslim ban")", 3rd Februrary 2017

Vigeo Eiris issued a positive alert upgrading the scores of...Amazon, Expedia and Microsoft...following their decision to take legal action against President Donald Trump's "immigration ban"... This upgrade reflects [their] increased confidence in the willingness and capacity of [all three companies] to integrate within their strategies and managerial processes the prevention of human rights violations. This includes direct and indirect violations, by omission or complicity, the respect of individual freedoms (i.e. freedom of movement) and non-discrimination related to origins, beliefs and opinion. Amazon, Expedia and Microsoft are…the first US major companies to have announced their support of the lawsuit that was filed by Washington state. Vigeo Eiris had issued a similar positive alert on Google…following the company's decision to implement a phone service enabling people living in Egypt to bypass the Internet censorship set by the government.

[Also refers to - Alcatel-Lucent, France Télécom-Orange, Millicom, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telefonica, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Vodafone]

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3 February 2017

USA: Companies' response to Trump's order ranges from silence to outrage

Author: The New York Times

"Starbucks, Exxon, Apple: Companies Challenging (or Silent on) Trump’s Immigration Ban", 30 Jan 2017

The reaction from major American companies to President Trump’s order on Friday restricting entry to the United States...ranged from silence to outrage. Which company took which position? In large part, it depends on the industry.

Tech: The Voice of the Opposition

Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia have been the most vocal, declaring support for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, which is suing in federal court to stop...order. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon...said...they oppose the ban...

Finance: A More Moderate Response

Wells Fargo said it was “reviewing”...order,...Morgan Stanley said it was “closely monitoring developments"...Citibank said...it was “concerned about the message the... order sends...”,...BlackRock...said: “We...want to...combat terrorism, but...it needs to be done with respect for due process, individual rights and the principle of inclusion.” ...Mr. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs['s] opposition...is...striking because several former executives...have top positions in...Trump administration.

Media and Telecom: ‘No Comment’ Abounds

Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner and AT&T ...had no public comment...Sony, Paramount and Universal, have...been quiet.. Some may fear being attacked by the president... [or] have major deals pending regulatory scrutiny [refers to Bloomberg News, Buzzfeed, Disney, Motion Picture Association of America, The New York Times, 21st Century Fox].

Consumer and Retail: Starbucks Pushes Back

...told employees...it would hire 10,000 refugees...Nike also came out strongly against...Coca-Cola [said]: “We do not support this travel ban or any policy that is contrary to our core values...” [R]etail and consumer industry [e]xecutives could face anger from customers who are embracing...Trump’s...ban [refers to Procter & Gamble, Target, Walmart]. 

Energy and Heavy Industries: A Mixed Bag

Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips [,] Marathon [and] Fiat Chrysler did not respond to requests for comment... Ford took the most outspoken stance, coming out against the...order [refers to Chevron, General Motors].

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2 February 2017

Uber CEO steps down from Trump advisory council after users boycott

Author: Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

Photocredit: TechCrunch CC BY-ND 2.0

Travis Kalanick says participation in president’s strategic and policy forum has been ‘misinterpreted’…following intense criticism and an online boycott of the company over its ties to the new administration..."I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” Kalanick wrote in an email to Uber staff... “I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda…”

Trump’s executive order has faced widespread backlash in Silicon Valley, where many top executives and company founders are immigrants and where companies rely heavily on highly skilled workers from abroad. Executives from [many] companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Netflix spoke out against the travel ban…announced donations to civil liberties or refugee rights organizations, and…announced intentions to support legal challenges to the order.

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