Trump Tech Summit to Include Apple, Facebook, and Amazon

December 12, 2016 - 3 minutes read

It’s no secret that relations between Trump and the tech industry are, well, “strained.” The media mogul and now president elect has blasted the tech world repeatedly throughout his campaign, ironically using Twitter for many of his most serious allegations. Those allegations have included accusing Sandberg of being too concerned with her ego, pushing a boycott of Apple products in the aftermath of the FBI vs Apple encryption case, and more general potshots at tech for being “overvalued” and “a bubble.”)

Those differences will presumably be downplayed this Wednesday, as Trump has invited a select group of Silicon Valley leaders to convene at Trump Tower for a tech summit, to discuss the sector and define it’s relationship with a Trump transition.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and possibly Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are among the select few invited. At the time of this posting, the invitation list was private and only a few figures were confirmed. According to reports from CNBC, invites have been going out on a rolling basis, and excluding some mobile app developers the public might expect to be included (including the founder and CEO of Trump’s favorite social media platform, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey).

Mark Cuban, Marc Andreessen, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings have also been excluded from the event, which is no surprise given long-standing differences between those individuals and Trump’s GOP. Trump’s cabinet assignments include lobbyists and telecom executives who vocally plan to dismantle Net Neutrality, so it’s no surprise that Netflix and other companies that benefit from tighter telecom controls are bracing for a downturn in the coming economy.

Younger “unicorn” startups founders from the likes of Slack and Salesforce have also stated that they are either not attending or were not invited, leaving mostly big-pillar companies like Google and Facebook to feel out how Trump plans to approach the sector.

Pundits expect that Trump’s attitude towards tech will likely soften as we approach the transition, since it would be difficult for the president elect to ignore the massive benefits of nurturing tech, one of the brightest and fastest-growing industries currently operating within US borders.

Says invited Safra Catz of Oracle, “If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.” For now, San Francisco mobile app developers are cautiously optimistic that reduced regulations and openings in the financial establishment could spell opportunity for the next generation of Silicon Valley startups.

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