i3 | January 26, 2017

Looking At 2017

Michael Petricone

The American people have spoken, and Donald Trump will be the 45th president of our nation.

In January we will have the defi ning ritual of our democracy: a peaceful transition of power, with a new administration bringing fresh ideas and new priorities. During the campaign, many in the tech industry voiced concerns about Mr. Trump’s positions on key issues like trade and immigration. While these concerns remain, we are optimistic. There are many areas where we can work closely with the Trump administration to create jobs and move our economy forward.

Mr. Trump does not come into office with a detailed technology plan or firm positions on our issues. This is typical of his management style. He is not an ideologue, but is a pragmatist who cuts deals and gets things done. The fact that he does not have set views on many of our issues may actually be helpful, since he will have the flexibility to respond as the situation demands.

Coming from a business background, Mr. Trump is deregulatory and will appoint similarly deregulatory cabinet secretaries, agency officials and Supreme Court justices. His administration will provide us an opportunity to roll back regulations that hurt our businesses and don’t make any sense, like the recent startup-killing Department of Labor rule raising the overtime rule from $24,000 to $48,000.

The new administration can also lead the effort to rationalize our tax system, lowering business taxes (the highest in the developed world) and encouraging U.S. firms to repatriate the $3 billion they currently hold overseas. The promise of these pro-business policies may explain why the stock market jumped to historic highs immediately after Election Day.

More, Mr. Trump has declared support for an ambitious $1 trillion program to restore America’s crumbling infrastructure. This effort has the potential to create jobs and put people back to work, as Mr. Trump promised in his campaign. We will work to make sure that any such program includes essential “21st Century Infrastructure” like broadband, sensors, smart roads and bridges.

We will continue to make our cast on trade and immigration. The fact is there is no way to “make America great” without trading with other nations or making sure that the U.S. is the magnet for the world’s best and brightest. Thankfully, there is a history of presidential evolution on these issues. Barack Obama ran as a trade opponent, and then morphed into an ardent free trader when he entered the oval office.

Thankfully, the vast majority of CTA’s Congressional allies returned to Congress in November. Many of these members bring long histories of expertise and well-developed opinions on tech issues. They are pro-tech, pro-trade and pro-immigration. They will function as a coequal branch and advise the administration on innovation policy.

We are especially hopeful given the ascension of Chuck Schumer as Senate Minority Leader. Like Mr. Trump, Schumer is a New Yorker and represents a dynamic and growing technology economy. Also like Mr. Trump, Schumer is practical and non-ideological, willing to make deals and get things done.

Throughout his career, Trump has focused intently on data for validation. As a real estate kingpin, he kept score by the number of his buildings. As a TV host, he closely monitored his ratings and adjusted his show whenever they would falter. As a candidate, he was obsessed with polls. As president, his natural metric will be the performance of the economy, specifically the stock market. He will be incentivized to work closely with the business and tech communities, indeed three of the top five companies in the S&P 500 are CTA members.

At CTA, our job is to work with the government to encourage pro-tech, pro-innovation policies. Our companies drive the economy, ensure America’s global leadership, and create the jobs of the future. We look forward to working with the Trump administration, identifying common priorities and making our great country even greater.

January/February 2017 i3 Cover Issue

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