trickle-down drip-down economics.
As protesters descended on airports to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning foreigners from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S., another protest has been brewing in Mexico and the U.S., mainly on social media.
Mexican outcry in the Twittersphere against Starbucks and other U.S.-based corporations reflects backlash from Trump’s two executive orders signed earlier last week. Chief among them: the construction of a border wall between Mexico and the U.S., increased border patrols and making undocumented immigrants higher priorities for deportation.
The online campaign from angered consumers south of the border has already hurt the java giant in the pocketbook, with shares of Starbucks’ stock falling 4 percent as trading closed Friday.
Starbucks defends itself, promises jobs
As the Reuters article linked above points out, consumer outrage toward Starbucks appears a bit misguided. Although the company was founded by a trio of American entrepreneurs and is based out of Seattle, the Mexico City-based Alsea company operates the more than 550 Starbucks locations across Mexico, along with about a half-dozen other fast-casual franchises imported from the States. Further, Starbucks sells coffee beans grown in southern Mexico to consumers worldwide.
Sunday, Starbucks sought to prop up its public relations further with regard to the related “Muslim ban,” with chairman and CEO Howard Schultz saying in a letter to employees that it will hire 10,000 refugees worldwide during the coming five years.
Conservatives react to CEO’s promise
In a twist that perhaps illustrates the delicate line companies must walk between sticking with the original business plan and responding to increasingly divisive politics, conservative Americans have also started a beef with Starbucks, as #BoycottStarbucks began trending worldwide Monday.
Much of the MAGA-related outcry against the CEO’s announcement includes the complaint that Starbucks should be hiring veterans before refugees, as illustrated in the following tweet posted earlier today that already has more than a thousand likes as of this writing:
— ??CVN/LHD/Vet?? (@GodLovingVet) January 30, 2017
However, as Yahoo! Finance points out:
Starbucks does have a program in place to support veterans and their families, hiring 8,000 veterans and military spouses since 2014.
More information on that program can be found here.
The reaction creates strange bedfellows in Mexicans and conservative Americans — both are criticizing a global corporation and creating PR headaches but for different reasons. It also illustrates the unintended consequences Trump’s ham-fisted policy decisions issued via executive orders can have on otherwise neutral third parties.
In a silver lining for the company, counter-tweets including #BoycottStarbuck express support for the proposed hiring initiative, as in this animated example:
— XO Podcast (@TheXOPodcast) January 30, 2017
For the time being, it appears Starbucks will just have to ride out this tweet storm until calmer social media seas prevail.