2017 certainly was a lively year as many companies quickly stood up against the Trump Administration on various policies, from immigration to the environment. This wave of corporate activism continued during 2018, as more companies became emboldened to draw a line in the sand when it came to many of the most volatile social and political challenges festering within and beyond America’s borders.
Of course, there were far more than these five companies that made it clear they opposed Trump’s rhetoric and positions on various issues. For example, we have Cards Against Humanity, which bought a plot of land along the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to foil the president’s much ballyhooed “wall.” Bill Penzy, the CEO of Penzy’s Spices, will speak out against #45 any opportunity he can, and has does not hesitate to call this POTUS a “racist.”
Nevertheless, from our point of view, we mention five companies that have stood out during 2018 for stepping up and speaking out against some of the recent policies that have come out of the White House.
Plus, it’s been almost a year, but remember when the president referred to a bevy of Latin American and African nations as “s---hole” countries? Well, Airbnb trolled Trump during his most recent State of the Union address by touting the travel possibilities at places such as Haiti:
The company has pledged to support any employee’s gender identity and expression since 2002; its nondiscrimination policy toward gay and lesbian employees dates back to 1984.
Furthermore, the company has been vocal about the White House’s unilateral decision to raise tariffs, and has made it clear that this policy shift will affect far more companies than those that make or procure aluminum and steel. Last summer, Levi’s Chief Financial Officer, Harmit Singh, told CNBC the tariffs “could have an impact at how people look at American products and American companies. And that is something that we do worry about.”
A day later, Microsoft amplified its call to Washington, D.C. to get its act together. “We need Congress to remember the fundamental decency and humanitarian spirit that defines us as a people and a nation. In short, we need to take care of children,” Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said on the company’s blog.
The company manages its own program and software to help its 15,000 visa-dependent employees navigate through the massive labyrinth that comprises U.S. immigration rules and policies. Microsoft is also among the tech giants that publicly argues that ongoing immigration policies will hurt the U.S. economy in the long term.
Image credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr
Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010, and became its Executive Editor in 2018. He is also the Director of Social Media and Engagement for 3BL Media. His previous work can be found at The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. Kaye is based in Fresno, CA, from where he happily explores California’s stellar Central Coast and the national parks in the Sierra Nevadas. He's lived in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, and has traveled to over 70 countries. He's an alum of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California.