Tim Cook explains why he joined Trump's tech summit

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took to the company’s internal info service to answer some questions, asked by employees, on Monday. And, among the many good questions, there was one that we all wanted to know the answer of.

Tim Cook has been against Donald Trump’s election ever since his campaign first started, but he still joined the President-elect’s tech summit last week. And Apple employees must have wondered why, considering what popped up on Apple’s internal info service.

“Last week you joined other tech leaders to meet President-elect Donald Trump. How important is it for Apple to engage with governments?” the question read. And Cook addressed it in detail, explaining his reasoning.

“It’s very important [to engage],” Cook wrote. “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.” Judging by the tone of the statement, we’d say that Cook still doesn’t approve of The Donald’s election, but he’s looking for ways to work with it.

Apple’s CEO continued by defining the company’s focus, when it comes to government 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 environment and really combating climate change, something we do by running our business on 100 percent renewable energy.

All of the areas of focus Cook mentioned are ones that he and the President-elect have very different opinions on. So, we can only assume that the Apple executive will continue to oppose Trump in these areas if he sticks to his campaign statements.

“The way you influence these issues is to be in the arena,” Cook said. He believes that engaging with governments is extremely important, both when you agree and disagree with their policies, “because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best.”

We have to agree that being on the sidelines will not pay any dividends for Apple, Google or any tech company out there. We have yet to see if engaging will actually pay off, though. In the meantime, you can read Cook’s entire statement below.

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.

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