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American Technology Council to Meet with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft CEOs

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos speaks during a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 14, 2016.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos speaks during a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 14, 2016. // Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump is convening yet another group of high-profile technology executives at the White House later this month.

Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella—chief executives of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, respectively—are scheduled to attend Trump's inaugural American Technology Council meeting June 19, Bloomberg reported

Trump created the American Technology Council to allow private-sector leaders to advise government agencies on modernizing federal technology. Trump chairs the group and Chris Liddell, a former Microsoft chief financial officer who is also the White House's director of strategic initiatives, directs it.

The executive order establishing the group last month listed other members including Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser.

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Safra Catz and Ginni Rometty, CEOs of Oracle and IBM, respectively, are also slated to attend the first meeting, in addition to Alphabet's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. They're expected to discuss cloud computing and government technology contracts, according to Bloomberg.

The June meeting follows a similar one in March in which Trump promised a "massive program to modernize our equipment," in government. Addressing powerful business leaders including Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Trump proposed the large-scale technology modernization plan at a meeting hosted by the newly created White House Office of American Innovation, headed by Kushner.

The upcoming American Technology Council meeting is happening despite pushback from technology leaders after Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, and after efforts to roll back H-1B visas, which allow domestic businesses to hire foreign workers for high-skilled jobs. The Paris agreement move prompted Musk and Robert Iger, CEO and chairman of the Walt Disney Company, to resign from Trump's advisory councils.

Trump has been trying to connect with tech leaders since before inauguration. In December, he hosted Musk, Bezos, Nadella, Catz, Rometty and others at Trump Towers in New York, where they discussed cybersecurity and "introducing greater accountability in the government procurement process," a summary of the discussion provided by Trump's transition team said.

Lawmakers are working on their own upgrade efforts. The Modernizing Government Technology Act would create working capital funds for IT projects within individual agencies, as well as a governmentwide fund agencies could apply to for additional dollars. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, reintroduced the bill and it passed the House this spring.

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