Tech execs at White House field ideas for US dominance
Top executives from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Qualcomm gathered Thursday at the White House amid strained ties between President Donald Trump’s administration and the tech industry and an ongoing trade war with China.
The White House described the Thursday meeting as a listening session to field ideas for securing American dominance in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing and faster wireless technology known as 5G.
Trump stopped by, but it was his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, who took a more active role in coordinating the gathering. Attendees included Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf.
Some of Trump’s policies on trade and immigration have antagonized the tech industry.
The Trump administration’s trade war with China has threatened to make products like iPhones more expensive. The Commerce Department is exploring new export restrictions that would target industries where China is hoping to get ahead, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.
And a recent U.S.-Chinese cease-fire over the tariff dispute was at risk of unraveling this week as Canadian authorities arrested an executive for Chinese phone-maker Huawei Technologies for possible extradition to the United States.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow were expected at the Thursday summit.