Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Why top tech CEOs are still meeting with Trump

The CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google's parent company Alphabet are joining more than a dozen other tech leaders at the White House for the first meeting of the American Technology Council. The group is expected to meet for several hours and bring their conclusions to Trump for discussion.

In May, Trump created an "American Technology Council", the latest in a series of efforts to modernize the USA government.

The council, which includes the CEOs of some of the country's biggest tech businesses, is slated to discuss with the president ways to modernize the federal government's technology infrastructure while also improving the way it handles cybersecurity issues.

The meeting with almost 20 chief executives comes as the White House pushes to shrink government, cut federal employees and eliminate regulations.

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The ATC is an initiative of the Office of American Innovation, which was created by an executive order in March and is led by Trump senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

After Trump chose to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, many tech leaders took the decision to withdraw them from the White House's various advisory councils. What's more, modernizing government tech could save as much as $1 trillion, officials told The Wall Street Journal.

The executives in attendance also included Safra Catz, Co-Chief Executive of Oracle; Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir; Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel; Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai; Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP; Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm; Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; and Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is not on the list. "And they want federal agencies to start taking advantage of new tools, including artificial intelligence, to address lingering ills, like fraudulent government spending". Kalanick is now taking an unspecified leave from the helm at Uber as the company looks to move past a tumultuous few months. It was one of Trump's latest initiatives to modernize the USA government, which spends $80 billion annually on information technology (IT) and employs approximately 113,000 It professionals. The program allows the government to temporarily admit skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations - and many of them are employed by tech companies.

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