Peace tops the agenda as Silicon Valley executives meet PEOTUS Donald Trump | business-news | Hindustan Times
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Peace tops the agenda as Silicon Valley executives meet PEOTUS Donald Trump

US president-elect Donald Trump met business leaders from Silicon Valley on Wednesday in an apparent attempt to address and put behind them a relationship marked by differences over immigration, government surveillance and encryption. Most had supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the Presidential election campaign.

business Updated: Dec 14, 2016 23:25 IST
Yashwant Raj
Donald Trump
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, on December 13, 2016.(Reuters)

US president-elect Donald Trump met business leaders from Silicon Valley on Wednesday in an apparent attempt to address and put behind them a relationship marked by differences over immigration, government surveillance and encryption.

There was no formal agenda for discussion, which took place at the Trump Tower, where the President-elect is putting together his administration. But they were expected to focus on jobs, the state of the economy and, perhaps, get used to each other.

Those expected to attend included Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Trump’s go-to social media platform, was not invited.

Read | Tech leaders couldn’t beat Trump; they’ll meet him instead

The meeting, put together by Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and investor who was an early Trump supporter, was not easy to organise reportedly as most Silicon Valley leaders had backed rival Hillary Clinton and criticised the Republican.

Trump hadn’t helped his case either. He called tech companies overvalued – “You look at some of these tech stocks that are so, so weak as a concept and a company and they’re selling for so much money”, he told Reuters in an interview.

And he has clashed with them on immigration. He has threatened to overhaul the H-1B visa programme for temporary workers that’s been behind some of the best success stories in the valley, to give preference to local, American workers.

“If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation, and negotiate better trade deals, the US technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever,” Oracle Safra Catz, who attended the meeting, said in a statement.

Silicon Valley is really not expecting too much from the meeting — billed as Tech Summit, and some have, in fact, said business leaders should not have agreed to the meeting at all.

“If Trump publicly commits to embrace science, stops threatening censorship of the internet, rejects fake news and denounces hate against our diverse employees, only then it would make sense for tech leaders to visit Trump Tower, investor Chris Sacca told Recode.

“Short of that, they are being used to legitimise a fascist.”

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