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Donald Trump Connects with Silicon Valley Heavy Hitters Elon Musk and Uber CEO to Shape Tech Policy


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Getty - Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP
 The Wildfire is an opinion platform and any opinions or information put forth by contributors are exclusive to them and do not represent the views of IJR.

The president-elect's transition team has a lot of seats to fill, and on Wednesday, they announced that three of the biggest names in business and technology will be joining Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.

The addition of SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to the forum was announced on the transition team's official website.

Image Credit: Elon Musk by Bill Puglian/Travis Kalanick by Kimberly White/Indra Nooyi by Monica Schipper/Getty Images

The Forum's member list reads like a Who's Who in American business. The latest three join the likes of General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon, and other business powerhouses, across several business sectors.

Silicon Valley has found itself in the uncomfortable position of reconciling vocal opposition to a Trump presidency to the reality of having to work with the president-elect's administration over the next four years. Many of those Silicon Valley tech leaders will be meeting with Trump on Wednesday to discuss that relationship, according to Reuters.

Despite pre-election frictions between the nation's tech giants and the President-elect, working together may come surprisingly easily.

Just days after the election results were in, Trump's team announced that long-time supporter and Silicon Valley giant, Paypal Co-founder Peter Thiel would join the transition team.

Image Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump's pick for Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, is supportive of the sharing economy and popular with companies in that space, such as Uber and Lyft. In a Bloomberg article, spokesmen for both companies praised the pick and Chao is quoted as saying:

“The digitally enabled, peer-to-peer economy has provided an important safety net for many families during difficult times.”

“At a minimum, government policies must not stifle the innovation that has made this sector such an explosive driver of job growth and opportunity.”

And on Monday, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates probably surprised much of Silicon Valley (and everyone else) by comparing Trump to JFK after a meeting with the president-elect.

Speculating about what happens from here in terms of tech policy would be a fool's errand given the nature of the entire 2016 election, but Trump's administration may have a much more functional relationship with Silicon Valley than anyone could have envisioned.

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