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Tesla CEO Elon Musk to meet Donald Trump for tech-industry summit, says WSJ


It was revealed last week that President-elect Donald Trump will be meeting with important tech-industry executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, among others, at Trump Tower on December 14.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wasn’t listed among the attendees when the meeting came to light last week, but Musk recently said that he would be “happy” to meet the new President-elect in an interview with the New York Time and now he is reportedly going to be present at the meeting.

The Wall Street Journal (Paywall) reported the news “according to people familiar with the matter”:

“Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to be in attendance at President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday in New York, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Update: Following WSJ’s report, Recode reported that Musk might miss the meeting:

“[…]sources in Musk’s office say that while he was glad to receive the invitation, critical work obligations might prevent him from attending. Sources left the door open that Musk would change his plans in the next few days, but that he was less likely to attend at this point.”

The meeting will happen amid several new nominations in Trump’s administration with strong ties to the fossil fuel industry, an industry on which Trump is leaning on in order to create jobs. Trump is expected to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has ties to the oil and gas industry, to the head of the EPA.

The agenda of the meeting has not been made clear at this point, but it is suspected to revolve around job creation in the tech industry.

As we recently reported, Tesla now employs over 30,000 people with more than 25,000 in the US. It is heavily investing in American manufacturing jobs and the company is expanding its hiring effort at the Gigafactory in Nevada and at its solar panel factory in Buffalo through its recent acquisition of SolarCity.

In regards to Tesla and the automotive industry, it was revealed last week that almost every single automaker except for Tesla is currently lobbying Trump and the EPA in order to stop the agency from implementing its new fuel consumption standard that would force automakers to mass-produce electric vehicles in order to boost their fleet average mpg.

Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and member of Trump’s transition team, is expected to act as a liaison for the meeting. Thiel is an old friend of Musk and the duo co-founded Paypal together when they merged their startups in 2000.

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