Ivanka Trump will join a keynote discussion on jobs and the future of work with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Assn., which produces CES (originally known as the Consumer Electronics Show). The talk is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. PT in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom. Trump and Shapiro will discuss “employer-led strategies to reskill workers, create apprenticeships and develop K-12 STEM education programs,” according to the CTA.
CTA this week confirmed an earlier report that Ivanka Trump was scheduled to speak at the annual consumer-electronics trade show and conference.
“CES has consistently proven to be one of the most influential technology events in the world and I am excited to join this year for a substantive discussion on the how the government is working with private-sector leaders to ensure American students and workers are equipped to thrive in the modern, digital economy,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement provided by the CTA.
Why is CTA giving a prominent speaking platform to a polarizing figure like Ivanka Trump? One of the trade group’s goals has been to lobby the Trump administration to soften the president’s hard-line stance on trade talks with China. The industry says high tariffs on Chinese imports will harm its business. “The president is right to fight against China’s forced technology transfers and IP theft — but tariffs are taxes on Americans, putting us on the wrong economic path and compromising our global leadership,” Shapiro said in a statement in August. President Trump has said he expects to sign a new trade deal with China on Jan. 15 that would suspend tariffs on goods including smartphones.
In her role as presidential adviser, Ivanka Trump focuses on the economic empowerment of women and their families, skills-training and workforce development. She serves as co-chair of the National Council for the American Worker with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Ivanka Trump has worked with the CTA before. In May, she led the White House’s lobbying to sign the trade group and 42 of its member companies to the Pledge to America’s Workers, under which the consumer-electronics firms promised to add 392,214 new U.S. worker training opportunities over the next five years. She also appeared as a speaker at the CTA’s 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague, co-hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“As a business leader and entrepreneur, Ivanka Trump is an advocate for creating family-sustaining jobs through workforce development, education and skills training,” CTA’s Shapiro said in a statement. “We welcome her to the CES keynote stage, as she shares her vision for technology’s role in creating and enabling the workforce of the future.”
Other keynote speakers at CES 2020, which runs Jan. 7-10, 2020, are set to include Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who will appear ahead of the service’s April 2020 launch, as well as NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships; Daimler chairman Ola Källenius; Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian; Samsung Electronics CEO Hyun-Suk Kim; Salesforce chairman/co-CEO Marc Benioff; and Unilever CEO Alan Jope.