Politics

Elon Musk & Uber's CEO To Join Trump's Policy Forum

| by Zach Cohen

Hours ahead of a meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and Silicon Valley tech executives, members of Trump's transition team say Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, will have strategic advisory roles in the new administration.

Musk and Kalanick will "meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the President implements his economic agenda," according to Kalanick, reports the Hill.

"America has the most innovative and vibrant companies in the world, and the pioneering CEOs joining this Forum today are at the top of their fields..." Trump said in a statement. "My Administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland."

Kalanick said in a statement: "I look forward to engaging with our incoming president and this group on issues that affect our riders, drivers and the 450+ cities where we operate." 

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Kalanick once bemoaned the prospect of a Trump presidency, The Washington Post reports. In October 2015, he reportedly joked to a room full of college students: "Oh my god, Donald Trump’s gonna win. I’m going to move to China if Donald Trump wins."

Before the election, Musk told CNBC in November that Trump "doesn't seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States." 

Musk and Trump may also be at odds when it comes to the issue of climate change, according to Recode. Musk, the CEO of the electric car company Tesla, has a vested interests in policy that moves the U.S. away from fossil fuels. He has even called for a carbon tax, urging students at Paris's Sorbonne in 2015 to "fight the propaganda from the carbon industry."

Trump's climate policy is far from set in stone. On the one hand, he has suggested pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, and has appointed climate change denier Scott Pruitt for EPA chief. 

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On the other hand, Trump's secretary of state pick, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, has supported the notion of a national carbon tax. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, is trying to make climate change one of her "signature issues."

She held a meeting early in December with her father and former Vice President and outspoken environmental advocate Al Gore, according to The Huffington Post. Gore called the meeting a "very productive... sincere search for areas of common ground."

Sources: The Hill, The Washington Post, Recode, The Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Elon Musk Fans/Facebook via Entrepreneur

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