Keller @ Large: Greater Boston Chamber Of Commerce CEO On Trump’s Travel Ban

BOSTON (CBS) — In the wake of President Donald Trump’s election last November, the stock market experienced what some analysts called a “Trump boom”–but that appears to have cooled off after a rocky transition and a rocky start for the new administration.

Jim Rooney, the president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, sat down with WBZ political analyst Jon Keller to gauge how the local private sector was feeling under President Trump.

The Chamber last week issued a statement expressing “deep concern” over the president’s travel ban. Rooney said he still stands by that statement.

“My phone was ringing off the hook this weekend when the order was issued, and we’ve had situations that have been reported of students and professors at our universities that were stuck, business people that were stuck,” said Rooney. “And it’s not just people that couldn’t get on a plane, but its choices not to travel, because people are uncertain if they leave, if they’ll be able to get back in.”

Rooney said that’s a big problem for local business, because Boston has decided to be a global player.

“We have been cheering on Logan Airport in the expansion of international flights,” he said. “Our economy is built along global participation. Our businesses are global, there’s a lot of trade that takes place. Twenty-two percent of our students in our universities are foreign-born, two thirds of our medical professionals are foreign born, 1.6 million international visitors last year, so we’re a global player now.”

Rooney said the business community had a “wait and see” attitude toward Trump’s business agenda, but said there’s now “some confusion and some mixed messages.”

Keller and Rooney also discussed Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s call for the use of Convention Authority money to be used to expand pre-kindergarten education in Boston.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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