- Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Ford’s CEO Mark Fields officially weighed in on President Donald Trump’s immigration ban in an interview with Business Insider on Monday.
“Core to our values are respect for people. And all of our policies, including our human-resource policies, support a diverse and inclusive workplace, and we don’t support policies that are counter to our values,” Fields said when asked about the ban. “We are going to stay focused to the well-being of our employees and running a successful business.”
Trump signed an executive order on Friday barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.
Ford said on Monday in a statement signed by Fields and executive chairman Bill Ford that it is not aware of any employees who are directly affected by the executive order.
“Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world,” the statement reads. “That is why we do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.”
Fields is the first executive among those at Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler to respond to Trump’s immigration ban. Ford has not publicly released a statement.
Ford’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, has been called America’s Muslim capital, and over 30% of its population is of Arab descent, Bloomberg reported.
Fields has twice met with Trump at the White House. Last Monday, he attended a meeting on US manufacturing with executives from Lockheed Martin, Whirlpool, and Under Armour, as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He attended another meeting on manufacturing on Tuesday that included only the CEOs of Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler. Fields is also a part of Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.
Fields said the meetings last week were “very good and productive.”
“I’ll be up-front and straightforward and tell it like it is,” Fields said. “He was looking for what ideas we would have to promote growth here in the US, manufacturing growth, jobs, things of that nature. He listened.
“It was a conversation – it wasn’t a one-way ‘I want to give you a speech’ kind of thing,” he said.
CEOs speak out
- Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Executives involved in the auto industry, like Musk, came out over the weekend with public statements against Trump’s immigration ban, while Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler remained silent.
“The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges,” Musk said on Twitter.
He also asked people on Twitter for “specific amendments” to Trump’s executive order that he said he would present to the president.
Lyft took a stance against Trump’s immigration ban by pledging a $1 million donation to the nonprofit American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU on Saturday filed for a temporary injunction blocking the deportation of people who were detained as a result of the ban. It was granted by a federal judge on Saturday evening.
“We stand firmly against these actions and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community,” Lyft cofounders John Zimmer and Logan Green said in a letter to customers.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent a companywide email on Saturday saying he would raise the issue to Trump at the first meeting of the business advisory group, which is scheduled for Friday in Washington.
“While every government has their own immigration controls, allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the US’s policy since its founding,” Kalanick said in the email.
On Sunday, Uber issued a second statement, saying it would compensate drivers affected by the ban for lost earnings and create a $3 million defense fund for drivers and translation services.
Tech CEOs from companies like Apple and Google also spoke out against the ban.