Trump Invites Tech Leaders to White House for “Tech Week”

June 13, 2017 - 3 minutes read

President Donald Trump’s disapproval rating currently hovers at around 60%, and in the tech industry it’s likely even higher. For a man who has presented himself as a master businessman for the entire duration of his public life, he’s certainly done a lot to alienate the major tech businesses that drive growth and innovation in the American economy. Just last week, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and a number of other big companies came out against Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris environmental accords, in part because they felt his decision was bad for business. And that was just another outrage to add to the ever-growing pile. It’s hard for internet of things app developers across the nation to imagine the Trump administration changing enough to win over the startups that have been disgusted with him from the beginning.

But it looks like the president is trying to reach out to tech by hosting a “tech week” at the White House starting next Monday. The week kicks off with a meeting of the newly formed American Technology Council, which includes execs from Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Intel, Adobe, Qualcomm, and other major movers and shakers in tech. Trump’s most visible supporter from the tech world, Peter Thiel, will also be present at the roundtable which is expected to focus on ways to modernize government services, cybersecurity, computer science education, and high-skilled immigration. A second meeting on June 22 organized by the leader-less Office of Science and Technology Policy will gather venture capitalists, CEOs, and assorted tech experts to discuss investing in emerging technologies, 5G infrastructure, automation, drones, and the internet of things. IoT app developers are hoping that the meeting pushes the president to make good on his vow to expand broadband access.

Consulting innovators from the tech world on how to better run the country is not a bad idea, but it remains to be seen what will come out of the meetings. Given the president’s track record, it’s also difficult to picture him acting on many of the tech world’s recommendations. For a president who seems to fancy himself the Disrupter-in-Chief, he seems to have very little interest in actually shaking up the way government operates in any sort of positive way. Given all the controversy swirling around the president, even if Trump does implement policies of benefit to Las Vegas IoT app developers, he is unlikely to gain any trust from a tech community that has always regarded him with suspicion.

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