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February 1, 2017

UFI Talks Trump Immigration Ban, Promotes “Free Exchange of Ideas and Travel”

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Following Friday’s executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump barring travelers from seven countries from entering the United States, UFI has released a statement on what the move could mean for the meetings industry. 

The latest UFI research indicates that more than half of the companies in the U.S. exhibition industry are expecting a negative impact from recent political developments across the world, including the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections. The UFI says that this endangers the recent growth of the U.S. exhibition industry. 

“International exhibitions rely on the free exchange of goods and ideas, and on business people from all around the world having access to these unique market places,” said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, president of UFI, said in a written release. “Most leading exhibition markets aim to become ever more international to serve these needs, and to grow as businesses. As countless impact studies show, this growth hugely benefits local, regional and national economies, who benefit from the direct business that exhibitors and attendees bring to town. Exhibitions are not only good businesses - they are also an enormous catalyst for economic growth.”

“As the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI is always promoting free exchange of ideas and travel for mutual benefit,” said Dr. Gruchow. “As an industry, we are representing billions of USD in direct and indirect economic investments. We call upon associations and businesses in our industry to also make their voices heard on this matter, and we stand ready to support them through activities like ‘Global Exhibitions Day’ on June 7.”

The executive order issued Friday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees to enter the United States, as well as an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order stranded travelers around the world over the weekend including, initially, those with green cards granting them permanent residence in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) later issued an order exempting legal residents from the ban. Multiple courts have intervened to block portions of President Trump’s executive order, and a series of lawsuits remains pending. 

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