Friday, December 16, 2016

HOW TO HIRE CHEAP LABOR? Trump meets with tech industry leaders

Trump meets with tech industry leaders





Trump meets with tech industry leaders

By Kevin Reed 

16 December 2016

Trump meets with tech
industry leaders
By Kevin Reed

16 December 2016
Donald Trump met with 13 prominent US technology company executives on
Wednesday in yet another widely covered event at Trump Tower in New York City.
In attendance were also Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a group of Donald
Trump’s business advisers and cabinet nominees, as well as four members of
Trump’s family.
Several videos of the
public portion of the meeting show the attendees seated around a conference
table and introducing themselves followed by introductory comments by Donald
Trump. Several of the Silicon Valley executives are seen expressing how
pleased, privileged and excited they are to be meeting with the
Trump then returns
the favor, referring to the assembled executives of the richest companies in
the world—including Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry Page of
Google and Elon Musk of Tesla and Space-X—as “a truly amazing group of people,”
and saying, “I’m here to help you folks do well.” As Trump began discussing
trade policy and adding “we are going to make it easier for you to trade across
borders,” the reporters were ushered out of the conference room.
According to a press
announcement published on the Trump transition team web site,
the 90-minute meeting covered a multitude of topics including jobs, trade,
taxes, tech infrastructure and cybersecurity. The statement said the meeting
was intended “to begin a conversation and partnership in order to spark
innovation and create more jobs in the U.S., particularly for working

Most media coverage of the event has focused on Trump’s
conciliatory approach to the technology executives, many of whom opposed him in
the 2016 election and some whom he attacked publicly during the election
campaign. In the case of Bezos, Trump fired off tweets that assailed Amazon for
tax evasion, largely in response to critical reporting that appeared during the
election campaign in the Bezos-owned Washington Post.
In one of the few
published comments from attendees following the meeting with the President-elect,
Bezos said, “I shared the view that the administration should make innovation
one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the
whole country, in all sectors, not just tech—agriculture, infrastructure,
manufacturing—everywhere.” Most attendees declined to comment on details of the
Other media reports
and television news coverage focused on the propriety of the presence of Donald
Trump’s three adult children and son-in-law in the meeting. Some coverage also
noted the absence of a representation from Twitter, despite Trump’s daily use
of the social media platform as a public relations tool. There were suggestions
that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not invited because the company had blocked an
effort by the Trump campaign to have a #CrookedHillary emoji created during the
election campaign.
The willingness of
the technology CEOs and billionaires to troop into Trump Tower and kiss the
ring of the President-elect comes as no surprise. It is part and parcel of the
falling in line by the ruling elite before the inauguration of the most
right-wing administration in US history. Like the Democratic Party
establishment and media representatives that endorsed Hillary Clinton, the
Silicon Valley moguls are eager to work with the incoming Trump administration
in securing their profits and collaborating with the state apparatus in every
During the campaign
Trump frequently lambasted the tech industry for its alleged failure to fully
accede to the demands of the Pentagon, FBI and other intelligence agencies,
particularly denouncing Apple over its reluctance to help the FBI break the
encryption on the cellphone of the husband and wife who gunned down 14
co-workers in San Bernardino, California a year ago.
It was reported on
Wednesday that both Tim Cook of Apple and Elon Musk of Tesla and Space-X
remained at Trump Tower following the conference to meet privately with Trump.
The Trump transition team also announced that Musk and Travis Kalanick, CEO of
Uber, would join Ginni Rommety of IBM as advisers on economic policy.
A notable feature of
the gathering technology company executives was the presence of billionaire
investor and Trump transition adviser Peter Thiel in the meeting. He was
introduced and specifically praised by Trump at the opening “because he saw
something very early, maybe before we saw it,” although just exactly what he
saw was not explained. It has been reported that Thiel sees government spending
on information technology and cyber-security as a huge growth area for the
military-intelligence apparatus—and a huge source of profits for Silicon
Valley. This was doubtless among the primary topics of the discussions with
tech industry representatives behind closed doors.

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