Defense Secretary Mattis begins tech outreach with Amazon visit

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis kicked off his first official visit to the U.S. technology industry on Thursday with a tour of Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, the first stop on a two-day outreach campaign intended to highlight the Pentagon’s commitment to tech innovation.

Mattis was scheduled to visit Mountain View, California, later in the day to tour the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Experimental Unit, or DIUx, a Silicon Valley outpost set up in 2015 by his predecessor, Ash Carter. He was also expected to visit Alphabet’s Google headquarters in Palo Alto on Friday.

“A pleasure to host #SecDef James Mattis at Amazon HQ in Seattle today,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos wrote on Twitter.

The visit comes as the Trump administration has sparred with the technology industry on a host of issues, including immigration, privacy and net neutrality.

Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Leslie Adler