Tech CEOs meet with Trump on government overhaul

Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:03pm EDT
 
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump met on Monday with the heads of 18 U.S. technology companies including Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: Quote) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote), seeking their help to make the government's computing systems more efficient.

The White House wants to update government information technology systems, cut costs, eliminate waste and improve service. Trump on Monday cited estimates that the government could save up to $1 trillion over 10 years through such measures.

"Our goal is to lead a sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology that will deliver dramatically better services for citizens," Trump said. "Government needs to catch up with the technology revolution."

The executives are part of the so-called American Technology Council that Trump formed in May to support efforts to modernize the U.S. government.

“The U.S. should have the most modern government in the world. Today it doesn’t,” Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said he wanted the Trump administration to make use of commercially available technologies, worker retraining, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Before meeting with Trump, the CEOs met in 10 small group sessions with Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, along with the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ohio State University.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, said the administration wanted to "unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before."   Continued...

 
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an American Technology Council roundtable, accompanied by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple (L) and Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft Corporation at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria