“Are we in an environment in which folks are saying let’s erect literal and figurative walls to lessen trade to lessen the movement of people to lessen even tourism, which we shouldn’t do because tourism supports about 10 percent of the jobs around the world,” Sorenson said on “Squawk Box.”
“We think it’s about two-and-a-half million jobs in the U.S. [are] directly dependent on foreign tourists arriving to the United States,” he said.
Trump has vowed to protect American workers and has said “tough and fair agreements” on trade could be used to grow the U.S. economy and return millions of jobs to America.
The president has also signed a revised executive order banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S., an order that has been met with legal blows. On Tuesday, the Trump administration confirmed it is imposing new restrictions on electronic devices carried by travelers coming to the United States from eight largely Islamic countries in response to unspecified terror threats. The president is also seeking to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Sorenson said the president’s proposed tax reform will be important for American corporations if the Trump administration can deliver it.
“To do it right, of course, means there will be some winners and losers in the business community,” he said.
—Reuters contributed to this report.