U.S. companies are taking a stand in these politically chaotic times.
So far, 127 technology firms are firing back at President Donald Trump‘s travel ban affecting immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
— Forbes (@Forbes) February 6, 2017
The movement was led by nearly 100 Silicon Valley companies who filed a legal brief on Sunday to oppose the highly controversial executive order, arguing that it is unconstitutional and “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth.” Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Reddit, Netflix and Dropbox were among the 97 companies that initially signed on to support Washington state’s lawsuit against Trump’s order.
That list got substantially larger late Monday afternoon, when Tesla, SpaceX and 29 other tech firms joined the brief.
Tesla and SpaceX were notably absent on the original list of signatories. CEO Elon Musk, who happens to sit on Trump’s business advisory council, previously said he would use his position to “express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration.”
Regarding the meeting at the White House: pic.twitter.com/8b1XH4oW6h
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2017
But as a Tesla spokesperson told the Verge, “as soon as we saw the brief this morning, we insisted on being added.”
The suit is being heard in the ninth circuit federal court in San Francisco, California and has already succeeded in temporarily halting the enforcement of the executive order.
Many other companies are making real efforts to be socially responsible. The outdoor industry as a whole has taken a stand against Utah state’s and the federal government’s proposals to shed public lands.
In an open letter to Trump and Congress, more than 100 outdoor industry leaders led by REI have called upon elected officials to protect public lands and the integrity of the outdoor recreation industry, which powers $646 billion in gross national product.
Outdoor clothing big-hitter Patagonia also announced on Tuesday it will not participate in Utah’s Outdoor Retailer shows after Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution on Friday urging the Trump administration to repeal the newly named Bears Ears National Monument.
Outdoor Retailer is a highly anticipated twice-yearly expo held in Salt Lake City that involves hundreds of outdoor brands from small business outfitters to industry pioneers. It brings about 22,000 people per event and gives Utah an estimated $45 million a year in direct spending.
Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s president and CEO said in a statement that Herbert’s resolution makes it clear that he and other Utah elected officials “do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits—$12 billion in consumer spending and 122,000 jobs—that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state.”
“Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation,” she added.
— Patagonia (@patagonia) February 6, 2017
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard wrote in an op-ed last month that “if Gov. Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home.”
“Gov. Herbert should direct his Attorney General to halt their plans to sue and support the historic Bears Ears National Monument,” Chouinard continued. “He should stop his efforts to transfer public lands to the state, which would spell disaster for Utah’s economy. He should show the outdoor industry he wants our business—and that he supports thousands of his constituents of all political persuasions who work in jobs supported by recreation on public lands. We love Utah, but Patagonia’s choice to return for future shows will depend on the Governor’s actions. I’m sure other states will happily compete for the show by promoting public lands conservation.”
Black Diamond Equipment founder Peter Metcalf also urged the show to move, calling the Utah government’s plans “an assault on public lands.”
“If they don’t want to change their policies, we should respond with our dollars, with our conventioneers, with our money, and take this show to a state that is much more aligned with our values,” Metcalf said.
It appears that the trade show has heard the companies’ cries and is now shopping for a new home, the Denver Post reported.
“We’ve been listening to the concerns from the industry and agree that it’s time to explore our options,” said Marisa Nicholson, the director of the Outdoor Retailer trade shows, in a statement to the publication on Monday. “Salt Lake City has been an incredible home to Outdoor Retailer and the outdoor community for the past 20 years, and we aren’t opposed to staying, but we need to do what’s best for the industry and for the business of outdoor retail.”