When Donald Trump was running for president he vowed to boost the U.S. oil and gas industry, much of it found right here in Texas. Now that he’s in office, some of his policies seem aimed at doing just that. But others are having the opposite effect.
Just ask Subhi Khudairi, a partner at the Khudairi Group. The family business has offices in Houston but contracts with oil companies in Iraq. Khudairi was in the Iraqi city of Basra on business when he heard about the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries.
One of the employees Khudairi was traveling with is an Iraqi man with a U.S. green card and wife and family in the states. That meant they had to take their minds away from business to figure out the employee’s travel situation.
“He’s just cutting his trip short to get back to the U.S.,” Khudairi said. “We feel like we don’t know what’s going to happen day after day, so we’re just trying to get him home sooner rather than later in case another curveball is thrown at us.”
What worries Khudairi even more than the business disruption is the ill will the ban could generate in Iraq.
“Whether it’s long-term rights to oil concessions or investment opportunities – this may have a longer-term effect on those sorts of opportunities for American companies,” he said.