Trump Immigration Order and Apple Stock
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook was the next to speak up after many tech chiefs spoke openly against the Trump immigration order, which bans citizens and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.
Although the decision may not impact Apple stock in the short term, it brings into question the core American values that the company follows, which helped Apple Inc. attract the best talent from around the world. AAPL stock ended a bit stronger on Friday and closed at $121.95.
And while everyone is busy figuring out the consequences of such a ban, all eyes are on Silicon Valley leaders whose companies are big employers of immigrants and work visa holders. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google (Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai have already publicly spoken against the Trump immigration order.
Apple stock is likely to be in the limelight as the company announces its Q1 2017 results on Tuesday, but Apple has made it to the headlines on account of the memo sent out by Apple CEO Tim Cook on Saturday explaining the company’s stand on the controversial Trump immigration order.
On Saturday, Tim Cook e-mailed Apple employees, emphasizing that Apple Inc. does not support Trump’s immigration policy. The memo was published in Buzzfeed and elsewhere.
This is what Cook had to say: “I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.” (Source: “Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to employees about the immigration ban,” TechCrunch, January 29, 2017.)
Cook further said that he has conveyed to officials in Washington that Apple Inc. believes in the importance of immigration, both to the company and to the future of America. It is notable that the co-founder of Apple Inc.—Steve Jobs—was the son of a Syrian immigrant.
The Apple chief also made it clear in his e-mail to employees that the company’s HR, legal, and security teams were in touch with Apple employees who were directly affected by the Trump immigration order and would do everything to support them.
Silicon Valley has been thriving on diversity, and the Trump immigration order attempts to directly hit that value. Maybe the temporary immigration ban gets lifted in a few days, but the employees’ morale will likely take a long time to recover. The dented sentiments in the technology sector may push AAPL stock lower.
By alienating a certain section of the workforce from United States society, the Trump immigration order may do more harm than good in the long term.Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote a tweet: “The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges.” (Source: “Twitter post,” @elonmusk, January 28, 2017.)
The Trump immigration order is not likely to have any impact on the business of the company or on Apple stock at the moment. However, it hugely impacts the morale of workers and the future of innovation in the tech sector in general, and at Apple Inc. in particular . The U.S. technology sector hires talent from all across the world, which fuels innovation and prosperity.
The major challenge for technology companies like Apple Inc. is that Donald Trump may not stop at this immigration order. He is also likely to bring changes to the H1-B program, which helps technology companies hire foreign workers with the desired technical skills.
An environment laden with the uncertain future policies of Donald Trump is definitely not good news for either tech stocks or AAPL stock. If the very conditions that helped Silicon Valley thrive in the past are taken away now, it remains doubtful as to what steps the tech industry leaders may take in the future. The subdued sentiments for the technology sector may impact Apple stock in the coming days.