On his first day in office, US President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue several executive orders, including one rescinding the controversial travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.
According to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, the new US administration will launch a spate of reversals on policies implemented by US President Donald Trump over its first ten days in office.
The controversial ban, dubbed “The Muslim Ban” by many, has resulted in more than 41,000 people being refused visas, separating families and leaving refugees in limbo. This revoking of the ban is one of several pledges made by Biden; others include introducing measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic both in terms of providing economic relief to those suffering the costs of the pandemic and to reopen schools and businesses subject to the expansion of testing. He will also be taking steps to re-join the Paris climate agreement.
History of the Travel Ban
Back in 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, officially titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, banning people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the USA, and slamming the door on refugees.
The six countries listed in the original order were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
While multiple attempts to stop the ban halted the process temporarily, the US Supreme Court finally overturned a block on the ban on Tuesday 26th June 2018. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s third “Muslim ban”. In January 2020, a further six countries were added to the ban, namely Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
What may this mean for investors?
Our director Matt Lavin says “There is no question that due to the previous administration’s travel ban, investment into the USA from the Middle East has slowed. What has undoubtedly felt like anti-Muslim sentiment was always likely to push away investment from the region.
President Trump’s “anti-foreigner” policies have certainly made many potential investors feel uncomfortable making any commitment to US property over the past four years. This doesn’t just apply to investors from the Middle East, but those from the rest of Asia, China, and Africa.
Biden offers a far more friendly approach to foreign investors and is likely to welcome back investors from the Middle East and China, both of whom suffered a problematic relationship with the US under the Trump administration.
After four years of a fairly tumultuous presidency, I see that Biden may well provide a more stabilising effect on foreign investment into the country”. While it’s not unusual for incoming presidents to move quickly to sign an array of executive actions upon their move into office, it’s also not uncommon for orders to be challenged or rejected by the courts. However, in this instance, there is less worry that this will happen when it comes to many of Biden’s initial orders as they will be restoring the previous status quo.