Elon Musk, other Silicon Valley execs to meet with Trump today

The Tesla CEO will join top executives from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and more in a meeting with the president-elect, according to reports. Most of the tech industry did not back Trump in his successful bid for the presidency. 

Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP/File
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveils the company's newest products, in Hawthorne, Calif. during a 2015 presentation.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among a roster of chief executives from Silicon Valley set to meet with president-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, according to news reports.

Musk has suggested that climate change is among the most urgent challenges facing mankind, one reason his company makes only zero-emission electric cars.

The president-elect, on the other hand, has used an excretory profanity to describe climate science and suggested that it is a creation of China to hurt U.S. business.

Which should make for an interesting meeting, if nothing else.

The meeting was reported by The Wall Street Journal (login required), which named executives from many prominent technology and software firms as attendees.

As well as Musk, they include the CEOs of Alphabet (formerly Google), Amazon, Apple, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle, and the chief operating officer of Facebook.

The president-elect's policies on energy and the environment are expected to be a sharp departure from those of his predecessor.

Trump has pledged to unlock and deregulate exploration for fossil fuels, assist in the construction of new oil refineries, and "bring back coal," among other promises.

He has named Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, which Pruitt repeatedly sued to prevent it from enforcing its regulations.

Texas governor Rick Perry, another fossil-fuel supporter, is Trump's candidate to lead the Department of Energy.

And Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has been tapped for secretary of state. 

With the exception of noted Libertarian venture capitalist Peter Thiel, most technology executives did not back Trump in his successful quest for the presidency.

And virtually all those executives accept the scientific consensus that human activity has contributed to climate change.

No agenda for the meeting has been disclosed, according to the Journal, but one focus is expected to be how to keep jobs in the U.S.

While Tesla manufactures all its cars in California at present, Apple builds the bulk of its consumer-electronics devices in China.

Trump has suggested in the past that Apple should open a U.S. factory.

The report also suggests that the executives are concerned about restrictions on immigration, enforcement of anti-trust laws, and government demands for data on the users of their products and services.

Relatively little is known about Trump's specific positions on electric cars.

The sole specific reference appears to be one referring to "all this stuff that doesn't work" in response to a question on Fox News about government loans to Fisker Automotive.

That company declared bankruptcy, and the U.S. Department of Energy lost roughly $100 million of its low-interest loan to Fisker.

The remains of Fisker were later bought out of bankruptcy court by Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang, which is now attempting to resurrect the Fisker Karma as the Karma Revero.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Elon Musk, other Silicon Valley execs to meet with Trump today
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2016/1214/Elon-Musk-other-Silicon-Valley-execs-to-meet-with-Trump-today
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe