clear
Friday November 24th, 2017 2:27AM

Tech leaders couldn't beat Trump; they'll meet him instead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers' digital privacy.

On Wednesday, Silicon Valley luminaries and other technology leaders are headed to Trump Tower in New York to make their peace — or press their case — with Trump and his advisers. The CEOs planning to attend include Apple's Tim Cook, Alphabet's Larry Page, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Intel's Brian Krzanich, IBM's Ginni Rometty, Oracle's Safra Catz and Cisco Systems' Chuck Robbins.

Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, will be on hand instead of its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who was one of many tech executives to express misgivings about Trump's pledge to deport millions of immigrants.

TECH VS. TRUMP

It could be a prickly meeting.

No other industry was more open in its contempt for Trump during the campaign. In an open letter published in July, more than 140 technology executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists skewered Trump as a "disaster for innovation."

And Trump's denigration of Mexicans, his pledge to deport millions of immigrants now living in the U.S. illegally, and his crude remarks about women were widely viewed as racist, authoritarian and sexist by an industry that prides itself on its tolerance.

Trump, in turn, sometimes lashed out at the industry and its leaders.

He lambasted Bezos for the campaign coverage of his newspaper, The Washington Post, and suggested that Amazon could face antitrust scrutiny if he was elected.

Trump also rebuked Cook for fighting a government order requiring Apple to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a shooter in last year's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

And Trump's repeated screeds against immigrants raised fears that he might dismantle programs that have enabled tech companies to hire tens of thousands of foreign workers with the skills to write computer programs, design web pages and build mobile apps.

The industry is also worried that Trump might try to undermine "net neutrality," a regulation requiring internet service providers to offer equal access to all online services. Trump's harsh characterization of the media as dishonest and unfair has raised other fears that he might even try to restrict free speech online.

OUT OF STRIFE, PEACE?

Some in Silicon Valley think the industry's best move would be to keep its distance until Trump changes his tone. Former Google executive Chris Sacca, now a tech investor, argues that industry leaders should steer clear of the meeting altogether.

Sitting down with the president-elect "would only make sense after Trump has given public assurances he won't encourage censorship, will stop exploiting fake news, will promote net neutrality, denounce hate crimes, and embrace science," Sacca said. "If and until then, tech figures who visit are being used to whitewash an authoritarian bully who threatens not just our industry, but our entire democracy."

Most of the companies with executives attending Wednesday's meeting declined to comment ahead of the gathering. But Oracle's Catz said in a statement that she plans to tell Trump "that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation, and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever."

Other tech institutions are also signaling an end to the animosity.

The Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Google, Facebook and Amazon, praised Trump in an open letter last month for his use of Twitter and other digital tools to help him get elected. The letter also appealed to Trump's emphasis on the economy, citing statistics estimating that the internet sector accounted for nearly $1 trillion of the country's gross domestic product.

Some conservatives say they're actually worried that Trump might get too friendly with tech. Peter Flaherty, the president of the National Legal and Policy Center, charges that big technology companies exploited their close relationship with President Obama "to feather their nests and push for policies that benefit them at the expense of the American worker."

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said by email that the president-elect "looks forward to meeting with this important group of industry leaders and true innovators."

COMMON GROUND: TAX CUTS

The technology industry already supports one of Trump's ideas. He has promised to temporarily reduce the corporate tax on foreign profits from the current 35 percent to 10 percent to give U.S. companies an incentive to bring their overseas cash back home.

It's a cut that Cook has been pushing Congress to make because Apple has $216 billion, or 91 percent of its total cash, in overseas accounts. Other tech companies in line to benefit the most from a tax reduction include Microsoft, Cisco, Microsoft and Google's corporate parent, Alphabet.

But Trump might not be doing many other favors for technology companies given his history of holding grudges against his opponents, said Larry Irving, a former government affairs executive for Hewlett-Packard who now runs a consulting firm.

"Everything Trump has done so far suggests that he rewards loyalty and punishes disloyalty," Irving said. "The tech industry better have some pontoons ready."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 9 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 9 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 9 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump says he doesn't trust computers as he rings in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private
10:46PM ( 9 months ago )
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 9 months ago )
Trump ditches media for golf game, offers New Year's wishes
President-elect Donald Trump has ditched his press pool once again, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without a pool of journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts
3:58PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
US states, leery of Russia malware, re-examine cybersecurity
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
8:57PM ( 9 months ago )
States re-examine cybersecurity after Russia accused of hack
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
6:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Long gas lines, price hike mar holiday season in Mexico
The holidays have been a little less merry for car owners in Mexico as gasoline shortages have grumbling customers dealing with hours-long lines
6:29PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Business
Tech leaders to make peace, or press their case, with Trump
Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers' digital privacy
1:06PM ( 9 months ago )
Tech leaders couldn't beat Trump; they'll meet him instead
Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers' digital privacy
12:47PM ( 9 months ago )
GOP leaders predict House passage of medical research bill
Republican leaders are predicting House passage of a compromise medical research bill on Wednesday
11:04AM ( 10 months ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Putin says Russia won't expel diplomats; Trump offers praise
President Vladimir Putin castigates the United States for trying to punish Russia but said Russia wouldn't immediately retaliate, but instead wait for a new U.S. approach by Donald Trump
3:36PM ( 9 months ago )
The Latest: Consulate's chef among expelled Russians
An official says a chef is among the Russians being expelled from the U.S. Sergey Petrov is San Francisco consul general
3:14PM ( 9 months ago )
The Latest: Trump praises Putin for response as 'very smart'
President-elect Donald Trump is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for holding off on retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the Obama administration for its alleged interference in the U.S. election
2:58PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Technology News
'I'm going to die': fear grips Vegas strip; gunman kills 59
Country music fans thought they were hearing firecrackers at first when a gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino hotel opened on them from above, killing at least 59 people
11:57PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Officials: US to ask Cuba to cut embassy staff by 60 percent
U.S. officials say the Trump administration is preparing to ask Cuba to reduce the staff at its Embassy in Washington by 60 percent
11:17PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Brother: Las Vegas gunman was wealthy real-estate investor
Brother says Las Vegas gunman was wealthy real-estate investor who liked to gamble
11:17PM ( 51 minutes ago )
In face of Las Vegas shooting, congressional inaction
Democrats are calling for tougher gun restrictions after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, while Republican-backed bills to loosen gun rules face an uncertain future
11:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Officials update number of firearms found
Investigators have updated the number of firearms they found in the hotel room and home of the Las Vegas shooter
10:48PM ( 1 hour ago )