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Tech Trade Group to New Congress: Let’s Collaborate

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A trade group representing some of the largest IT companies is calling for a collaborative approach among the new Congress, the Trump administration and the tech industry.

In a blog post explaining the tech industry’s legislation priorities for the 115th Congress, the Information Technology Industry Council outlined four priority areas that share commonalities with President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda. Chief among them is reforming acquisition and procurement, the blog states.

“Federal agencies spend approximately 80 percent of their total technology budget on maintaining outdated legacy computer systems,” the blog states. “Congress should reform the way the federal government procures and utilizes technology to ensure all government users keep pace with innovation and modern solutions.”

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Other legislative priorities include ensuring the U.S. “responds aggressively to unfair trade restrictions,” and updating the U.S. tax code. ITI is lobbying for lower corporate tax rates to promote economic growth and “robust incentives for innovation and research and development.”

While its call for lower taxes for corporations differs from Obama administration policy, ITI’s R&D recommendations mirror those made by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In its exit memo, OSTP called for increased R&D spending by Trump’s administration, building upon the $140 billion invested in R&D over fiscal 2016.

ITI also wants to ensure any modernization of U.S. infrastructure—a topic Trump has addressed repeatedly—integrates “both physical and digital elements,” promoting “the significant economic and societal benefits” smart infrastructure might offer. In the past, the tech industry paid respect to the previous Congress for its forward-thinking regarding technology.

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