Week in Geek: What Donald Trump’s presidency means for the tech industry

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President-Elect Donald Trump. IIP Photo Archive, Photo by Gage Skidmore.
President-Elect Donald Trump. IIP Photo Archive, photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr.

Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election surprised the world this week, and the implications across the tech industry are vast.

First, Amazon’s stock dropped this week after the election, in an apparent reaction to Trump’s aggressive stance against the Seattle-based tech giant in the past. As a candidate, Trump questioned Jeff Bezos’ motivations for purchasing the Washington Post, and threatened to go after Amazon over taxes and antitrust issues.

Bezos, who previously joked about sending Trump to space on a Blue Origin rocket, congratulated the president-elect on his victory, smoothing things over by saying, “I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.”

Some technology leaders took a pragmatic approach to the news, with leaders from Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and others issuing statements on his victory. But many were dismayed, particularly Dave McClure of 500 Startups.

GeekWire’s John Cook, for one, says on this week’s radio show and podcast that hasn’t seen the tech industry rallying against a candidate in his time covering the tech industry. “I think he’s really viewed in places like Seattle and Silicon Valley as almost anti-tech and anti-innovation to some degree,” he says on this week’s GeekWire radio show and podcast. “That obviously creates all sorts of issues and problems for the tech industry.”

Scientists and environmentalists also fear what Trump’s administration will mean for the battle against climate change.

But there are some potential bright spots for tech companies, including Trump’s plan to allow companies to bring overseas cash back to the U.S. at a lower tax rate. In addition, biotech stocks surged on speculation that a Republican Congress and president will translate into a more lax regulatory and legislative environment.

We round up the reactions and implications on this week’s GeekWire radio show and podcast, recorded in front of an audience at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Listen to the podcast above, watch the video below, or download the MP3.

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