Tim Cook explains why he met with President-elect Donald Trump

By , Dec 19, 2016

tim cook trump

In a recent Q&A on Apple’s internal info web service, Tim Cook explained to employees why he met with President-elect Donald Trump last week. Cook was one of many executives that participated in a high-profile roundtable with Trump to discuss a variety of tech-related issues.

The meeting inspired a lot of negative reactions from folks in and around Silicon Valley, who felt like it was hypocritical of the tech leaders to meet with Trump, given their public condemnations of his comments and actions. But Cook explains that open communication is important.

TechCrunch has the question and Cook’s response:

Last week you joined other tech leaders to meet President-elect Donald Trump. How important is it for Apple to engage with governments? 

It’s very important. 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. Some of our key areas of focus are on privacy and security, education. They’re on advocating for human rights for everyone, and expanding the definition of human rights. They’re on the environment and really combating climate change, something we do by running our business on 100 percent renewable energy.

And of course, creating jobs is a key part of what we do by giving people opportunity not only with people that work directly for Apple, but the large number of people that are in our ecosystem. We’re really proud that we’ve created 2 million jobs, just in this country. A great percentage of those are app developers. This gives everyone the power to sell their work to the world, which is an unbelievable invention in and of itself.

We have other things that are more business-centric — like tax reform — and something we’ve long advocated for: a simple system. And we’d like intellectual property reform to try to stop the people suing when they don’t do anything as a company.

There’s a large number of those issues, and the way that you advance them is to engage. Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. 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.

We very much stand up for what we believe in. We think that’s a key part of what Apple is about. And we’ll continue to do so.

It’s always admirable when two sides can set aside their differences and agree to work together to push things forward. There’s no telling where this will lead, but it was reported that Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk stayed after the lengthy meeting for further discussions with Trump.

Source: TechCrunch
Top Image: Getty Images News

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  • Mark S

    Hopefully our new president fixes the problems with America driving businesses out of this country due to ridiculous tax rates.

    • Julio Hernandez

      I absolutely despise him but I hope for his sake and the sake of this country that he’s remotely successful as a president. God help us all.

      • Y2J: Keeper of the List

        And it’s totally ok to despise him, but any American hoping for him to do a poor job is an absolute moron. If he fails, we all fail.

    • Number216

      How can the president elect be expected to do that when all of his various companies make their products in foreign countries? He hasn’t even said he’d be bringing those jobs back to the United States.

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    When he says tax reform and a simpler system – he means lower tax rate for corporations- which is exactly what trump has proposed

    • Rowan09

      Look on his tax plan the people that benefit the most are the rich and poor of course, but the middle class also benefit from it.

  • Jamessmooth

    Love it. Just because your team lost you don’t be a baby about it. These folks still have companies to run. Cook knows that.

  • Alex Wilson

    I would be more concerned if Cook hadn’t attended. Like him or not, Trump is going to President. If Cook hadn’t gone you can bet that Trump would not be as willing to work with him going forward. Both men are business leaders. Trump is Cook’s best bet to get the tax rate lowered. While they may disagree on social issues, I think probably found a lot in common on other issues.

    • Rowan09

      Exactly he’s acting as if Apple was going to move out of America, he had no real choice and those other companies whoever they are aren’t that important.

  • :D

    I’m just constantly refreshing idb here in hopes for an iOS 10 jb

  • Tommy
  • Bacillus

    Tim The Visionary brought us from the post-PC era into the post-iPad era.
    And now we are in the post-pipeline era – there doesn’t seem to be anything in there…
    Tim The Visionary => Tim The Apprentice

    • Kaptivator

      LMAO @ that face!

  • techfreak23

    There’s no gaurantee that those companies will bring jobs back even if he does lower the tax rates, unless he makes a “great deal” like he supposedly made with Carrier. He lied by trying to fluff up how many jobs he actually saved and he set a dangerous precedent for companies to get what they want from the government. Unless he has a way to actually force them to bring back jobs, he’s just going to drive up our national debt further with all of these cuts.

    It’s funny to me that the only campaign promises that Trump seems to be trying to fulfill are the ones that benefit his and his children’s business. Is HE actually going to bring any of his jobs back to the states? I seriously doubt it.

    He just came out and told people he lied to them during the campaign like his supporters were all in on some kind of joke. Only said things because “they played well during the campaign” but that “now we don’t care anymore because I won.”

    Let’s just hope that this all plays out well for all of our sakes.

    • M_Hawke

      Well, he “lied” about how many jobs he saved at Carrier–so what? Those are still 800+ jobs (if you believe the unappreciative union boss) that were saved. I’m sure 800+ very grateful people. How many of those did the union boss help save? Or Obama? Yep, the answer is ZERO. And Ford kept their plant in the US. And this is BEFORE Trump even takes office. You are a pessimist because you don’t like Trump. OK, understandable. But I disagree. I believe that Trump is intent on making the US business-friendly again.

      • techfreak23

        By doing what? Bending over backwards to these companies? Do you know how much in tax cuts he gave that business? What’s to stop another business from leveraging that and getting even more in tax cuts when everyone is still paying the same amount of taxes? What’s the real benefit of saving these jobs? You know that company is going to replace those jobs that Trump “saved” with automated workers (robots)… Same with Ford. My point was that there is no GUARANTEE that those jobs will remain intact… Trump has no way to keep these jobs… he’s betting on the integrity of these companies and that greed won’t come into play.

        I also like that you didn’t comment on the rest of my statement…

      • M_Hawke

        Well, the President can do only so much–the rest is left up to the company, does it not? And I’m all for tax breaks for corporations. They need it. The US has the highest corporate tax rate on the planet. And do corporations actually pay those taxes? No, it is passed on to the consumer. As far as not commenting on the rest of your statement, I don’t even remember what it was, to even comment on that comment. LOL

      • techfreak23

        Haha yeah multi-MILLION and multi-BILLION dollar corporations NEED the tax cuts. Please. America is like a premium piece of real estate. If you want to operate your business here, you need to pay your dues and people or these corporations don’t seem to understand that. You don’t see prices in Malibu or Hollywood or any other city like that dropping just because they’re higher than other parts of the country. Trump should know that since he’s such a good real estate mogul, but he’s a greedy, tiny handed, tiny minded buffoon who only has his own self interests at heart.

        And how are those unpaid taxes passed onto the consumer? Lowering corporate taxes isn’t going to make prices of goods go down, they’ll stay exactly where they are. Do you know why? Because most companies are interested in PROFIT. All they care about is their bottom line and increasing revenues.

      • M_Hawke

        You really don’t understand how businesses make money, do you? Prices and services go up. Simple. Of course they care about profit and increasing revenues. That’s why they are in business. Your rankings are really silly.

      • BoomShakaLaka

        Those so-called jobs he is trying to save could go back to the same areas they left in the first place. Additionally, low tax rates aren’t the only reason those jobs left. If “making America great again” means not moving on, losing the ability to adapt to the market and closing ourselves off from international ecosystem, and not supporting education, I fear for what “greatness” means to some people.

      • M_Hawke

        Yeah, so it is a start. It is something he talked about in his campaign, specifically Carrier. Hey, guess what? Trump is a businessman. A very successful one. I think he knows all about everything you just listed there.

      • techfreak23

        lol “a successful one” yeah by having money from his daddy to just throw at the wall until something stuck. He’s a liar and a cheat. Any time he’s said he completed a project under budget is because most of the time he didn’t pay his contractors what they were owed or he made some sketchy backroom deal (probably sucked a few dicks) to get a “better deal.” Why do you think there have been so many lawsuits against him? Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean that they’re smart or good businesspeople. Who knows what kind of deals he’s going to make over the next 4 years that might put us in conflicts with various countries.

        As for your comment about making America business friendly again, why do you think he’s doing that? Why do you think that’s something so important to him? Because as you said he’s a businessman and it directly affects him and his family, even after he’s out of office. It’s all a smokescreen. He’s blatantly told his supporters that he lied to them all campaign, yet they’ll still follow him blindly. It’s how Trevor Noah put it, “it’s like a magician told you how he did his trick, but people are still like ‘oh magic. Magic!'”

  • techfreak23

    Oh and Tim Cook on jobs…
    “And of course, creating jobs is a key part of what we do by giving people opportunity not only with people that work directly for Apple, but the large number of people that are in our ecosystem.”

    Sure they’ve created a lot of jobs with their expansion, but at the same time they have been pushing out a lot of the businesses in that ecosystem that got them popular in the first place before they had their own retail presence. They used to penalize businesses for discounting their products, but released that restriction some years back and opened the floodgates for big box retailers like Best Buy, Target, online retailers, etc. to butcher the prices to the point where those smaller businesses couldn’t compete anymore. They also started squeezing the margins even more so businesses were making less money per sale on an Apple product. So what Apple doesn’t tell you is how many jobs have been lost over the years from businesses that helped them grow in the first place.