US President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday met Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives, including Indian-American CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella, in a first high-profile summit with technology leaders with whom he was at odds throughout his campaign.
“I am here to help you folks do well,” Trump told the group of Silicon Valley CEOs during a meeting, which his spokesman said was one of the series of such meetings, at the Trump Towers here.
The purpose of the meeting, the transition team said in a readout, was to begin a conversation and partnership “in order to spark innovation and create more jobs” in the US, particularly for working Americans.
During the meeting, Trump expressed an open mind and willingness to listen, which was greatly received by the industry leaders in attendance.
“There is nobody like you in the world. There is nobody like the people in this room and anything we can do to help this go along, we will be there for you and you will call my people, you will call me, it does not make any difference, we have no formal chain of command around here,” Trump said.
He told the CEOs to reach out to him anytime they want.
“We are gonna do fair trade deals and make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders because of a lot of restrictions, a lot of problems and if you have any ideas on that that would be, that would be great because there are a lot of border restrictions and a lot of border problems, you probably have less of a problem than some companies. Some companies have massive problems. But we are going to solve those problems,” Trump said.
In addition to Nadella, other leaders who attended the meeting were Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Safra Catz of Oracle, Tim Cook of Apple, Alex Karp of Palantir, Brian Krzanich of Intel, Elon Musk from Tesla, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Alphabet — parent company of Google, Chuck Robbins of Cisco, Ginni Rometty of IBM and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.
During the Tech Summit, Trump and the CEOs discussed a wide range of issues including creating more jobs for Americans, eliminating barriers preventing US companies from doing business outside, America’s competitive trade dynamic and market access with China, cutting taxes, repatriation of American profits kept overseas by prohibitive tax rates, improving physical and digital infrastructures, and protecting intellectual property rights among others.
They also discussed improving US’ cybersecurity, updating government software systems, technology in schools, the need for greater vocational education opportunities, reducing bureaucracy and introducing greater accountability in the government procurement process.