This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Two top Utah business trade association leaders wrote an open letter to the state's congressional delegation Tuesday expressing fear that the immigration and trade actions of President Donald Trump could jeopardize the Beehive State's jobs and economic well-being.
"We are concerned about recent trade and immigration executive orders and their potential impact on Utah's economy," wrote Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Derek Miller, CEO and president of the World Trade Center Utah. "As our elected representatives in Congress, we ask that you work with your colleagues to mitigate any possible negative consequences of these actions."
The letter did not specify the actions that concerned them but came in the wake of Trump's controversial executive order halting the U.S. refugee program and suspending travel of foreign-born visitors from seven Islamic nations: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Sudan. A court stay of the order has reopened the flow of travelers, at least for now.
Trump also ordered construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, along with stepped up efforts to detain and deport those entering the country illegally. In another order, he withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration in an attempt to counterbalance China, the economic powerhouse in the region.
"We are concerned that the executive orders signed by President Trump could limit Utah's ability to succeed in the global marketplace. The way these decisions have been communicated is not constructive to building the U.S. brand and fostering a positive economic climate," Miller and Beattie wrote.
"We look to you, our representatives, to help find tangible, productive and prompt solutions. We cannot delay and we cannot continue on the present course as reported throughout the media."
Utah's all-Republican congressional delegation has largely expressed conceptual support for Trump's immigration policies or remained silent on the matter. Sen. Mike Lee on Monday said his policy could be constitutional so long as it is carried out within legal guidelines and said he would push back if the president were to "overstep his bounds."
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who met with Trump face-to-face in the Oval Office on Tuesday, said he did not discuss immigration with the president.