A group of 18 tech company CEOs is heading to Washington, D.C., today to meet with the White House as part of the American Technology Council. The ATC was created by President Trump in May and is chaired by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior presidential advisor.
CEOs expected to attend today’s meeting include Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; Safra Catz, co-chief executive of Oracle; Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware; Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel; Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP; Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm; Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet. Also expected to attend are venture capitalists Peter Thiel and John Doerr. Thiel served as one of Trump’s advisers during his transition into the White House.
The council is expected to discuss how to improve the government’s IT infrastructure, web sites, and apps by incorporating the latest in software and cloud computing. It is also expected to discuss ways to protect the government’s computer systems from security breaches.
Some news outlets have speculated that the conversation may also include the status of the H-1B visa program. The H-1B visa program paves the way for the majority of highly-skilled workers from other countries to work in the U.S. The visas are doled out through a lottery system, and there are usually about three times as many applicants as there are visas.
In April President Trump signed an executive order directing four government agencies to review the H-1B visa process and suggest reforms. The tech industry is particularly sensitive to the visa program because many of its employees are H-1B visa holders.
5G in the Spotlight
The high-profile White House meeting today is just the beginning of the Trump administration’s five-day focus on technology. According to Recode.net, on June 22, there will also be a meeting to discuss emerging industries, including drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G.
FierceWireless:Tech reports that Ericsson and Sprint were trying to pull together a 5G demo for the White House but it appears that won’t happen. Ericsson filed an application with the FCC earlier this month for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to conduct the demo, but the application was denied by the agency on June 14.