WASHINGTON Dec 14 U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for the titans of
Silicon Valley, will host executives from top technology
companies for a meeting at his Manhattan tower on Wednesday.
Tech luminaries, including Apple Inc Chief
Executive Tim Cook, Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer
Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla Motors Inc Executive Elon
Musk, will seek to find common ground on economic issues at the
roundtable even as much of the industry remains angered by the
Republican president-elect's harsh rhetoric on illegal
immigration, hostility to free trade and public broadsides
against the industry.
The meeting, organized by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner,
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and PayPal
co-founder and Trump supporter Peter Thiel, is billed as an
introductory session, four sources briefed on the talks said,
all of whom requested anonymity to discuss a private meeting.
Sources said Wednesday's meeting may skirt the numerous
disagreements with the president-elect in favor of a focus on
"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," Oracle Chief
Executive Safra Catz, who will attend the meeting, said in a
Other expected participants include Alphabet Inc
Chief Executive Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon.com
Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Corp
Chief Executive Satya Nadella, IBM Chief Executive Ginni
Rometty and Oracle, sources said.
The CEOs of Airbnb and Uber - which are not publicly traded
- were invited but are not attending. Uber's Travis Kalanick,
will not attend because he will be traveling in India all week,
according to a person familiar with his plans.
Trump clashed with Silicon Valley on several issues during
the campaign, including immigration, government surveillance and
encryption, and his surprise victory last month alarmed many
companies that feared he might follow through on his
Those concerns have not been assuaged in recent weeks as
Trump has threatened to upset trade relationships with China and
appoint officials who favor expanded surveillance programs.
"For some of the companies, there was some hesitation about
whether to attend" because of sharp political and personal
differences with Trump, one tech industry source said.
More than 200 employees of technology companies pledged in
an open letter on Tuesday to refuse to help Trump's
administration build a data registry to track people based on
their religion or assist in mass deportations.
Silicon Valley enjoyed a warm rapport with Democratic
President Barack Obama and heavily supported Democrat Hillary
Clinton during the presidential campaign.
Schmidt was photographed on election night at Clinton
headquarters wearing a staff badge, and Musk said in interviews
before the election that Trump's character reflected poorly on
the United States.
From the employees of the 10 largest Fortune 500 tech
companies, Trump raised just $179,400 from 982 campaign donors
who contributed more than $200. Clinton raised $4.4 million from
the employees of the same companies, with more than 20,400
donations, a Reuters review of contribution data found.
Trump publicly bashed the industry during the campaign. He
urged his supporters to boycott Apple products over the
company's refusal to help the FBI unlock an iPhone associated
with last year's San Bernardino, California, shootings,
threatened antitrust action against Amazon and demanded that
tech companies build their products in the United States.
Trump has also been an opponent of the Obama
administration's net neutrality rules barring internet service
providers from obstructing or slowing consumer access to web
content. Two advisers to his Federal Communications Commission
transition team are opponents of the rules, as are the two
Republicans on the FCC.
Last week, the two Republicans on the panel urged a quick
reversal of many Obama policies and one, Commissioner Ajit Pai,
said he believed that net neutrality's "days are numbered."
(Reporting by Dustin Volz and David Shepardson; Additional
reporting by Grant Smith, Heather Somerville and Jim Finkle;
Editing by Jonathan Weber and and Peter Cooney)