Marriott CEO Concerned About Trump Policies on Immigration and Trade
In an interview with CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson expressed that they would be watching the Trump Administration closely as it relates to their immigration and trade policies. He pointed to similar trends in Europe as reason for the concern.
When asked by the reporter for CNBC whether he agreed with Delta’s CEO comment last week on the “Trump Effect,” Sorenson said, “It’s not proven yet. We continue to see an economy that’s growing…maybe there is some glimmer of hope, but I think those glimmers aren’t clear enough to overcome your bias.” Sorenson pointed out that it would be difficult to craft U.S. policies that would specifically target the Marriott company as a whole. He pointed to the fact that most of their properties are locally owned, which means any policy that set to hurt out Marriott would also hurt local business owners in the affected places. Specifically, he gave an example of how their Chinese properties are locally owned.
Last week, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “We’re optimistic. Our new president-elect ran on a campaign of protecting U.S. jobs and enforcing U.S. trade treaties.” He went on to say that he saw an increase in consumer confidence since the election in November.
Sorenson also noted a strong dollar and how American travel to Europe has increased. He also noted that European travel to the U.S. has remained flat.
In November, the CEO sent a letter to President-Elect Trump, urging him to keep an open mind towards foreigners traveling to the United States. In that letter, Sorenson said, “Strengthening our borders, however, should not lead us to close America to travelers from around the world. The 75 million foreign visitors we welcome every year support in excess of two million jobs in the U.S. Those jobs cannot and will not be transferred off shore – unless, of course, we dissuade those travelers from coming to the U.S. We should keep the welcome mat out for foreign travelers.”