Apple CEO Tim Cook, who had actively advocated for Hillary Clinton’s support and even held a fundraiser for her campaign, finally decided to meet with President-elect Donald Trump along with a dozen of other tech giants at the Trump Tower in New York City last week.
Naturally, the employees were jittery and confused about his meeting, the details and the possible consequences, despite the fact that Cook sent a memo to all U.S. Apple employees after Trump’s victory emphasising the company’s commitment towards diversity at the workplace.
The details of the meeting, except for the filing by Recode’s Kara Swisher, have largely been hidden, but TechCrunch claims to have obtained some insights on Cook’s subsequent communication with his employees, which has also been verified by Apple.
An Apple employee questioned Cook:
“How important is it for Apple to engage with governments?”
“It’s very important, various policies of a governments could affect the fate of Apple, and all its employees.”
He then gave a whole list of what factors could be affected as a result of these relations:
- Privacy and security
- Human Rights
- Environment and energy
- Tax reform
- Intellectual property reform
Cook added on,
“Governments can affect our ability to do what we do. They can affect it in positive ways and they can affect in not so positive ways. What we do is focus on the policies.”
The difference of Tim Cook's face with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/9Dd2LBsbRc
— ryan (@ryanpizarro1) December 15, 2016
There already have been cases of friction between Apple and the government agencies, the most significant being the shooting in San Bernardino, where Apple refused to provide assistance that could help the FBI access the iPhone which was used by the gunman Syed Farook. Apple has also pledged to work towards making their business 100 percent carbon footprint free, an agenda which isn’t exactly at the top of Trump’s priority list.
Cook justified his presence in the room to safeguard his company’s policies.
“Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be,” Cook added on. “The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas,”