While President Donald Trump is billed as the pro-business, pro-growth champion, the large cap companies of big tech are relishing their role as "chief antagonists," according to a Sunday report in The Hill.
The paradox lies in the fact President Trump "measures" his administration's work in part by a thriving stock market – which, of course, is led by the massive growth companies of big tech.
"There's only one thing that Trump really measures himself by: the stock market," Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President Gary Shapiro, who lobbies on behalf of big tech, told The Hill. "Tech companies are a big part of the stock market, and he’s not going to do anything to jeopardize that."
It has given big tech leaders relative license to push President Trump on social issues in ways other industries might not be able to afford. Still, that activism is "risky," according to a leader of a tech-focused think tank, per The Hill.
"It's not an issue that's central to the well-being of the industry – I don't know why the industry is wasting their political capital [on social activism]," Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) President Rob Atkinson told The Hill.
Tech companies have fought the Trump administration on DACA, work-related immigration visas, tariffs, and environmental activism. Most notably, market-dominator Amazon has been a major antagonist under CEO Jeff Bezos. He just happens to also be owner of the The Washington Post, which frequently tweaks the White House with its reportage.
"Tariffs do not work," the Information Technology Industry Council wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to The Hill. "They increase costs for American consumers, harm the American economy, inhibit job growth, and are inevitably reversed because of the negative economic impacts and political fallout."
Shapiro notes big tech has scored huge benefits from the Trump administration on deregulation of the Obama administration's policies and corporate tax cuts, so while the social activism may be apparent, business and money still walks the walk.
"We have a great relationship with the White House," CTA's Shapiro told The Hill. "Their tech agenda matches our tech agenda.
". . . This is the most business-friendly White House I've ever seen."
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