President Donald Trump and members of his administration met on Monday with the heads of America’s largest tech-, e-commerce-, and financial-giants to discuss ways the U.S. government can cut waste while improving services, according to a report by Reuters.
The meeting comes off the heels of a conference call held last Friday, during which the President described an “economic opportunity” that could result in the U.S. government saving as much as $1 trillion over the course of the next decade by exploring ways in which the government can reduce IT expenses, improve its spending power, and reduce fraud.
Prior to their sit-down meeting with the President, CEOs including the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, and Apple’s Tim Cook, met briefly with top Trump administration officials including White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to discuss ways the government could accomplish these aforementioned goals. Among the 20 other Chief Executives in attendance will be MasterCard’s Ajaypal Singh Banga, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, and others.
According to Axios, Cook will personally use the meetings to address a number of key issues with the Trump administration — most chiefly among them being the implications of the U.S. visa program for bringing highly-skilled foreign workers into the country, as well as addressing four key points of disagreement between the administration and the tech industry. These include waging a disagreement to the notion that immigration drives down wages, arguing in favor of strong encryption, as well as discussing veterans rights and human rights, in general.
The meeting will reportedly be broken down into 10 small-group sessions, led by various, high-ranking members of the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and others, according to Reuters, who went on to explain how the sessions will precede a group meeting with the President, himself, which was scheduled for Monday evening at 5:00 pm EDT.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law turned senior adviser, explained what the administration wants to do is “unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before,” adding that The White House would be doing away with “unneeded cyber compliance rules” in an effort to eliminate the need for most (if not all) of the U.S. government’s 6,100 data centers in hopes of replacing them with a Cloud-based storage system.
The meeting comes amid a turbulent start to Trump and Cook’s personal and professional relationship, which was herniated earlier this year when the President pushed his travel ban executive order limiting immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries, and more recently when Cook criticized the young administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris climate agreement — although Cook, for his part, vowed that even despite the President’s decision, his company would forge on in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote a myriad of other environmental initiatives.