Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has joined public figures across the world in condemning Trump’s temporary ban on refugees from entering the US.
Since Trump signed an executive order on Friday, temporarily barring refugees and people from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the US, outrage has reverberated across the world. Protesters gathered at US airports over the weekend and federal judge Ann Donnelly was praised for blocking Trump's order to save a Syrian refugee from deportation. In the UK, a petition to stop the President's scheduled visit has already received over 1 million signatures.
The chief executive of Starbucks has also added his voice the international condemnation of Trump's travel ban. In a strongly worded message published on the Starbucks website yesterday to all partners and employees, Howard Schultz said that the company would "neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration's actions grows with each passing day."
Titled "Living Our Values in Uncertain Times," Schultz's letter outlined the "specific actions" the company would be taking in light of Trump's rulings since taking the Presidency. These included supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme and providing access to health insurance for employees, but perhaps the most striking was his promise to hire 10,000 refugees. Schultz wrote: "There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognised as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business."
Starbucks would be working with equity market employees to welcome people "fleeing war, violence, persecution, and discrimination," he explained, with a focus on hiring those who had helped US troops as interpreters and support personnel. Employment would be offered either directly by Starbucks or its suppliers.
The note also vowed to build "bridges, not walls, with Mexico," in response to Trump's controversial plan to erect a southern border barrier between the US and it's neighbour. Schultz wrote that Starbucks, which has 600 outlets in Mexico and employs 7,000 people there, was "ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners, and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions, and taxes might have."
This gesture could also be an attempt to improve Starbucks' image in Mexico, which has suffered thanks to the growing anti-American sentiment felt by many Mexicans. Last week, "Adiós Starbucks" was trending on Twitter.
But Schultz isn't the only food and drink figure to react to Trump's apparent disdain for Mexican relations. Restaurateurs across America have warned that migrant workers like the ones Trump seeks to bar form the backbone of the industry and tax experts say that imposing a tariff on Mexican goods (one of the ways in which the Administration proposes to fund the wall between the two countries) would result in significantly higher food costs for Americans.
And yet for the POTUS, anything that will supposedly keep the bad dudes out is justifiable.