US tech titans invited to pow-wow with President-elect

Mr Schmidt (right) is among the tech industry leaders who will be meeting Mr Trump this week.
Mr Schmidt is among the tech industry leaders who will be meeting Mr Trump this week.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN FRANCISCO • President-elect Donald Trump's sit-down with technology titans this week will have two marquee attendees: Alphabet's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.

Mr Page, chief executive of the Google parent firm and Mr Schmidt, its chairman, were planning to go to the meeting.

An invitation went out earlier last week from members of Mr Trump's transition team. Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins said they plan to attend.

Tech news website Recode reported that Mr Page, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will go, along with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has also been invited and is likely to attend, the report added.

While an agenda was not listed on the invitation, the discussion is expected to touch on issues such as trade and immigration, where Mr Trump's positions during the campaign opposed most of the tech industry's. Alphabet has become a major lobbying force and has a wide range of national policy interests. These include taxes on offshore earnings, data encryption, autonomous vehicles, telecommunications spectrum and healthcare.

Mr Trump has proposed weakening Internet neutrality rules, a longstanding priority for Google and other Internet firms.

The meeting, scheduled for 2pm on Wednesday, will likely focus on possible repatriation of overseas earnings and corporate tax reform, but it will primarily be a chance for industry leaders to find some common ground with an uncertain administration.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'US tech titans invited to pow-wow with President-elect'. Print Edition | Subscribe