On Monday, top executives of the tech industry attended the inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council at the White House. Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon’s CEOs will sit down with President Donald Trump.
The Council, which was constituted under an executive order signed on May 1, aims at orienting the President and the federal government’s use of technology policies and strategies.
The group shares many members with the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. An advisory board formed late last year which intended to provide a broad perspective on all aspects of the economy going forward. Some of the original members have left both committees.
Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick are out of the equation
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
18 of the founding members of the council will attend the meeting, but two figures will be noticeably absent: Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk, and the former CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick.
Elon Musk, who was also part of the Policy Forum and was rumored to be a personal advisor to the President after meeting months ago, resigned to his Council seat after Trump pulled out the United States out of the Paris Agreement.
Kalanick, on the other hand, has been dealing with some issues both at private and public levels. Uber has been shrouded in a mist of nonstop scandals, and the head of the ridesharing giant recently lost his mother in a tragic boating accident.
Out of the remaining 18, many have opposed the President in different instances, including outspoken statements and funding to his adversaries during the presidential campaign last year. Intel, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Adobe, MasterCard, and more will have representation at the White House encounter.
Climate change and travel bans will be hot topics at the White House
The tech industry is prosperous and progressive precisely because of its inherent nature, always looking for the most urgent problems and coming up with solutions. It is only logical to expect that such a meeting will lead to a necessary discussion about some of the most controversial decisions by this administration.
Technology’s multicultural and diverse talent pool cannot exist without incentives for workers from all corners of the world, more so when the case is that many of the CEOs of these companies are naturalized foreigners themselves.
Apple, for instance, plans on emphasizing the importance of strong encryption for services and all levels of government, but it is also interested in discussing H-1B visas and how essential they are for startups and established firms.
Besides talking big data, cyber security, the cloud, and more topics, the attendees will have a chance to engage in conversation with Donald Trump at the end of the afternoon when he swings by to greet members of the Council and hear a briefing of the discussions.
Chris Liddell, a former executive of some big names in tech and now a strategy director for the White House, will be in charge of leading the session. The Office of American Innovation, led by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, is the Council’s overseeing entity.