Silicon Valley Recovering From The ‘Ton of Bricks’ Of Trump’s Election

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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President Donald Trump is no longer the outcast of Silicon Valley. The high-tech world has come a long way since Google’s finance chief announced that Trump’s surprise win over industry favorite Hillary Clinton came “like a ton of bricks dropped on my chest.”

Today, Google is singing, or at least listening to, a different tune as its parent company Alphabet has seen huge benefits from Trump’s tax legislation that will likely allow the company to save billions of dollars in revenue that would otherwise have been grabbed by the taxman. As the New York Times notes, Trump’s war on regulations also means Alphabet should have an easier time of selling its auto-drive vehicles and deliver-to-your-door drones.

Besides, Trump isn’t “Hitler or Mussolini,” as Gary Shapiro, leader of the Consumer Technology Association, put it.

It has come to economics. Silicon Valley saw Trump as an enemy of their cherished pro-LGBT and unrestrained immigration policies; now they are increasingly seeing him as a friend who understands the needs of business.

Although the conversation between president and industry remains rocky at times, the tone of that conversation has definitely moderated.

As Shapiro told the Times, Trump “has been great for business and really, really good for tech.”

Shapiro, who freely admits he voted for Clinton in the last presidential election, says he is not alone in seeing Trump as less and less of a castastrophic chief executive. While the liberal high-tech sector might still be profoundly offended by Trump’s refusal to embrace the Paris climate accord, it is on-side with a host of other issues, including Trump’s get-touch approach to China, which has often been accused of pilfering technology from the U.S.

“This isn’t Hitler or Mussolini here,” Shapiro told the times, adding that “disagreement in one area does not mean we cannot work together in others. Everyone who is married knows that.”

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