President-Elect Donald Trump has never backed down from an argument. The man is known to hold a grudge – just ask Rosie O’Donnell. So it was a surprise when he invited leaders from the tech industry to a meeting at Trump Towers to foster innovation and agree to fair trade deals. But while Trump extended an olive branch to tech leaders who openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton, some big names were absent from the meeting. What can we expect moving forward from Trump and tech?
Trump Met With Tech Leaders – Is It Good For The Industry?
During the 2016 presidential election, most of the tech industry rallied for Hillary Clinton. Trump’s policies and promises to punish companies who produced good overseas were seen by the CEOs of tech companies as bad for business. Yet, this week Trump sat down with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who Trump famously promised would “have so many problems” if Trump was elected president. Also in attendance were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Missing from the meeting were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Is Trump ready to play nice with tech?
Maybe not just yet.
Twitter was notoriously absent from the meeting, having been barred as a result of refusing to create a “Crooked Hillary” emoji during the presidential election. But let’s be clear, this is a “yuge” positive for the tech industry. Trump won the election. He’s going to be president. The tech industry must accept that and move forward. So the fact that Trump invited CEOs who opposed him is an amazing (if rare) opportunity for tech leaders to guide Trump’s hand towards less harmful decisions and policies regarding tech. If Musk and Cook can get on Trump’s good side, Tesla and Apple most definitely stand to benefit. And as leaders of publicly traded companies, these CEOs owe it to their shareholders to do anything within their power to help raise share prices – especially by provoking the U.S. government.
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According to a Trump press release, the topics discussed by the innovation team included China, tax cuts, education, infrastructure, and international trade. The new braintrust may meet as often as quarterly to discuss important topics. It’s impressive on Trump’s part that he went outside his cabinet picks and solicited advice from brilliant minds who directly opposed him. Now the question is, was this a PR stunt or does Donald Trump really want their help?
Have a glimpse on how the meeting goes below from Fox 10.
Only time will tell, but these tech leaders are certainly helping their respective companies (and industry) by staying involved. And while there’s no way to gauge the impact on share prices just yet, expect those companies represented to have a competitive edge over the next four years.
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