BlackBerry CEO Thinks the Immigration Ban is Bad for Trade

January 30, 2017 - Written By Alexander Maxham

The hot topic in the world of politics lately has been the Immigration Ban that President Trump signed as an Executive Order on Friday. This has led to many tech CEO’s and others coming out against the Order, with very few being indecisive and others being silent. BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen talked with BNN in Canada regarding the President’s Executive Order over the weekend, and essentially said that it is bad for trade. Additionally, he using a “wait and see” type of attitude, instead of opting to overreact to Trump’s Order.

Chen told BNN that he believes that if the US doesn’t “resolve it in a more peaceful way maybe or less sharp, we will hurt trade, particularly if it expands to more than these seven countries.” While Chen is in charge of BlackBerry, and is not located in the US right now due to his employment, he and his company still need to pay attention to what’s going on with this Immigration Ban. Considering the majority of BlackBerry’s small market share is in the Middle East and Africa, banning those countries from immigrating to the US could harm their business. And like Chen stated, it could drastically harm trade with those countries. Although many of them don’t do much trading with the US as it is, in fact there are sanctions on Iran already, which is one of the seven countries that were part of the Immigration Ban.

On Friday, Trump signed an Executive Order that banned entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya, to the United States. It got plenty of attention over the weekend as more people were being detained at the country’s airports, even those that were legal residents of the US with their green card in tow. Many were detained for hours before being able to pass on through and reunite with their loved ones. It was a bit of a clumsy Executive Order from the new President, and it’s one that Silicon Valley isn’t too happy about. Of course, there may be more for Silicon Valley to worry about under the Trump administration.