Idaho Businesses Weigh In On Trump's Executive Order

Jan 31, 2017

Jay Larsen, founder and CEO of the Idaho Technology Council, has a giant chart of the “Tech Boise Universe” on his office wall.
Credit Idaho Statesman

The president's executive action is getting mixed reactions from the business community in Idaho. The spectrum of responses runs from concern for workers' families and the talent pool – to silence.

President Trump's order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is getting some blowback from the state's large dairy industry. Idaho Dairymen's Association executive director Bob Naerebout told the Idaho Statesman the executive action could harm future growth of the industry by taking away a viable stream of employees. He said a quarter of one Magic Valley dairy's 50-person workforce is comprised of refugees.

Technology company HP, which has a large presence in the Treasure Valley, issued a statement outlining concern for foreign employees. HP says they're identifying affected employees and determining how to help them. The company says it's dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The head of the Idaho Technology Council also expressed doubt about the order. Jay Larsen said he worries the new stipulations may hinder foreign tech workers from getting U.S. visas.

Major Idaho players, including Simplot and Micron, didn't comment on the action. The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce also remained silent about the matter.

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