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Tech Trade Groups to Trump: Support Innovation, Please

President-elect Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump // Darron Cummings/AP

Seventeen technology trade-group leaders joined together to pen a letter to Donald Trump Wednesday encouraging the president-elect to support innovation policies, offering a series of recommendations they believe will drive economic growth and better position the country’s digital future.

The recommendations carry some weight considering the companies they represent employ some 5.7 million and drive $1 trillion in economic value. Trump’s views on technology and innovation remain somewhat of an unknown, though recent appointments suggest he may boost cybersecurity and defense spending.

“As leaders of organizations representing the world’s most dynamic technology companies, we are committed to moving the country forward toward a brighter economic future,” the letter states.

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The recommendations are separated into three distinct issues, all of which tie into views or statements Trump has made at some point.

The first piggybacks on Trump’s goal to invest in the nation’s infrastructure by suggesting the government invest not only in concrete and steel but also in the nation’s digital infrastructure. The federal government labors behind the private sector in terms of legacy technology spending, with only 20 percent of its IT budget spent on new technologies. Similarly, the U.S. lags behind other countries, like South Korea and Japan, in terms of broadband internet speed.

The second tied Trump’s apparent desire to reform the U.S. tax code to “modernizing laws, regulations and rules regarding data, including international data transfers.” Such revisions could, for example, better outline privacy regulations in the internet of things era or better protect American intellectual property frequently targeted by nation states and bad actors motivated by profit.

The third set of recommendations touches on the human element inherent in technology. The letter essentially asks Trump to hire people “committed to productivity growth, breaking down artificial barriers, working across silos and innovating to solve our biggest challenges.”

The trade groups that signed the letter include 1776, ACT | The App Association, Allied for Startups, Consumer Technology Association, BSA | The Software Alliance, Engine, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Entertainment Software Association, Computing Technology Industry Association, Information Technology Industry Council, Internet Association, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Semiconductor Industry Association, TechNet, Software & Information Industry Association and Technology CEO Council.

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