February 1, 2017 / 8:09 PM / 3 years ago

Trump likely to face questions over travel ban in CEO's meeting Friday

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will likely face questions on his executive order restricting some travel to the United States when he meets chief executives of major U.S. companies on Friday at the White House.

Companies whose CEO’s are expected to attend the meeting of the president’s business advisory panel include JPMorgan Chase & Co, General Motors Co, Blackstone Group LP , IBM Corp, Uber Technologies Inc and Walt Disney Co, two officials briefed on the meeting said on Wednesday.

Trump’s executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and putting a three-month ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries has prompted protests and legal challenges in the United States, and has drawn criticism from several leading U.S. companies.

Among those critics, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick wrote in an email to employees Saturday that “the ban will impact many innocent people - an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting.”

It was not clear if all 19 members of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum would attend Friday’s meeting. Other members include the chief executives of Tesla Motors Inc , Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Boeing Co.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said this week that the travel order should be modified and he would seek a consensus among members of the advisory council.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields have also criticized the travel measure.. GM has declined to take a position.

Trump ordered the restrictions on Jan. 27, saying they were aimed at protecting Americans from the threat of terrorist attacks.

The business forum is chaired by Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of Blackstone.

Trump is a wealthy New York real estate developer and his transition team announced the group in December, saying “some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders, will be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the President implements his economic agenda.”

The White House did not immediately comment Wednesday on the meeting. Trump has held numerous meeting with chief executives since taking office on Jan. 20, including leaders of major automakers, manufacturers, aerospace and pharmaceutical companies.

Among the companies that have been most critical of the immigration orders are Netflix Inc, Apple Inc, and Amazon.com Inc, but none of these are represented in the business forum. Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal the company is considering a legal challenge to the immigration order.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Frances Kerry

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