Trump will consult Tim Cook about the best way to reopen US economy

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Apple CEO Tim Cook talked Mac Pro with President Trump
Trump and Cook speak during a previous tour of Apple's Mac Pro factory.
Screenshot: White House

Tim Cook is one of the advisers President Donald Trump will consult about the U.S. plans to reopen the economy following coronavirus lockdown.

Cook is one of a panel called the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups that the president will consult via telephone. In total, the group consists of upward of 50 executives, think tank representatives and industry leaders.

“I’m confident that these respected people … will give us some great ideas,” Trump said, as quoted by MarketWatch.

Aside from Cook, others on the list included Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Ellison and Safra Catz from Oracle, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, and more.

The advice the group gives will not be binding in any form. However, it will offer a variety of viewpoints at a critical moment in history. So far, 16 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy will shrink by 3% this year. That would be the steepest downturn since the Great Depression almost a century ago.

Donald Trump and Tim Cook

Tim Cook and Donald Trump have enjoyed a better-than-expected relationship during Trump’s time in the White House. Cook was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign. At one point, he was even tentatively (and very briefly) considered as her possible running mate.

During Trump’s time in office, he and Cook have clashed on several occasions regarding social issues like Trump’s travel ban. They also disagreed on Trump’s strategy concerning China. Trump has even, slightly bizarrely, taken to Twitter to tweet his criticism of the current iPhone UI.

When it comes to many business matters, however, they have been in broad agreement. In 2018, Trump singled out Apple during his State of the Union address, describing it as one of the companies to have benefitted from Republican tax plans. Earlier this year, Cook and Trump had breakfast together at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

It’s therefore of no surprise that Cook would be called into service to help advise on a crucial issue such as this. What with Apple being America’s biggest company and largest taxpayer and all!