Daily Management Review

In Meeting with CEOs, Questions Likely to be Faced by Trump on Travel Ban


02/02/2017




In Meeting with CEOs, Questions Likely to be Faced by Trump on Travel Ban
When U.S. President Donald Trump meets with the CEOs of major U.S. companies at the White House on Friday he will likely face questions about his executive order restricting some travel to the United States.
 
Two officials were briefed about the meeting were quoted in the media as saying that chief executives of JPMorgan Chase & Co General Motors Co, Blackstone Group LP, IBM Corp, Uber Technologies Inc and Walt Disney Co would be among those expected to attend the meeting of the president's business advisory panel.
 
CEOs attending the meeting, which comes at the end of another turbulent week for the Trump administration, have been pressured by activists to raise concerns about the travel restrictions at the meeting.
 
Public protests were touched and unease among employees at many big U.S. companies were stirred by Trump's order last Friday, barring travel into the United States by people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
 
Either remaining silent and taking heat from consumers and employees dismayed by the order or criticize Trump's move at a time when they are trying to win White House support on tax and trade policies are the two difficult choices that CEOs have been faced with.
 
The travel ban is aimed at strengthening national security, says the Trump administration. Although major indexes rebounded on Wednesday, the wind out of the post-inaugural stock market rally was knocked by the backlash over the measure.
 
Trump's executive order imposed a 90-day suspension on people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely in the 120-day halt on the U.S. refugee program. Along with protests it has drawn criticism from several leading U.S. companies and prompted legal challenges in the United States.
 
"The ban will impact many innocent people — an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting", wrote Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in an email to employees Saturday and is among those critics.
 
With an address lasting 10-15 minutes, Trump will kick off the two-hour meeting, which would be followed up by Stephen Schwarzman, who chairs the panel and assembled it at Trump's request and is the billionaire founder of private equity group Blackstone.
  
With two to three people talking briefly about each subject to help shape “how the administration should be thinking,” according to a person familiar with the matter, there would be four topics for discussion -- regulatory relief, women in the work force, tax and trade, and infrastructure.
 
Trump's penchant for rebuking companies publicly would be watched by the investors said the CEOs.
 
"Given recent history, being called out publicly is something that the CEOs in that room and other CEOs will absolutely be mindful to avoid," said Jim Russell, vice president at Bahl & Gaynor Inc, which oversees $17 billion and owns shares in several of the companies attending Friday's meeting.
 
"I'm sure they will pick their fights carefully and articulate them carefully."
 
The travel order should be modified and he would seek a consensus among members of the advisory council, Tesla founder Elon Musk said this week.
 
While GM has declined to take a position, the travel measure has been criticized by Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and CEO Mark Fields.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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