Tech reaches out to Donald Trump

The tech industry has banded together in an attempt to reach out to Donald Trump, the president-elect it tried to defeat.

Seventeen trade groups sent a letter to Trump Tuesday, asking him to consider principles the industry says will help growth and innovation. The groups pushed for government investment in tech infrastructure, tax reform and modernizing rules and laws, plus made recommendations for agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and more.

They also felt the need to toot their own horn a little.

“We are a powerful engine for economic growth and competitive strength, driving over $1 trillion into the American economy,” the groups wrote. “Indeed, we are increasingly the platform for powering everything from small main street businesses to the leading powerhouse companies that are the envy of the world.”

The groups, which include the Consumer Technology Association, TechNet and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, count among their members companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter. One of the groups that signed this letter, the Internet Association, had already sent Trump a wish list with policy priorities a couple of weeks ago.

When asked whether Trump responded to the group’s previous letter, the Internet Association would not comment. Instead, it provided this statement to SiliconBeat from CEO Michael Beckerman: “The internet industry looks forward to working with the Trump administration on policies that will help grow jobs and opportunity for all Americans.”

SiliconBeat has asked the Trump transition team for comment but has not received a response.

The big joint letter comes amid some concerns about how Trump and his cabinet picks will affect issues that are important to tech, such as net neutrality, government surveillance, immigration and more. Trump’s tech policies remain largely a mystery.

“Usually we have a strong sense of what the president-elect’s policies are,” said Peter Leroe-Muñoz, vice president of Technology & Innovation Policy for the SVLG, in an interview Wednesday. “We don’t really have a strong sense of [Trump’s] policies.” He said the industry is ready to start a dialogue and act as a resource for the incoming administration.

Meanwhile, at least one of Trump’s picks, Elaine Chao for transportation secretary, is getting a positive reaction from Uber and Lyft, Bloomberg reports. Chao, who served as labor secretary under President George W.  Bush and deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush, has publicly expressed support for the gig economy. It is unknown what Chao’s position is on another big tech issue she would face: self-driving cars, an emerging technology that’s mired in regulatory challenges galore.

Photo: Donald Trump gives his presidential acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016 in New York City. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


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  • tommariner

    Silicon Valley should stay out of politics. The egos of a lot of the mega-rich got in the way of what they do for a living — run companies that produce great technology.

    If they have enough time on their hands to dabble in things that could get their company in trouble if the wrong person wins an election, maybe the boards of directors may want to fire them and hire someone who will full time run the company.

    • sundoggy

      Cop out. US economic growth is mostly lead by technology leadership the same way more traditional manufacturing and previous technological leaders (oil, railway, auto industry, telecommunications) influenced policies, infrastructure and social services, Amazing this new administration doesn’t recognize that (except for twitter), but not surprising that the most technologically backward are the ones that voted them in. As economic leaders it is part of tech leaders responsibility to participate. Otherwise they are just like geeks playing video games in a dark bedroom on a suburban cup de sac, and in the end the US economy loses in an increasingly global economy. Homeboy economy ain’t going to fly in this century, though it will keep the old farts in power. NOT to mention that technology is lead by forward thinking folks — and we definitely need those people influencing government before it is commandeered by 19th century mentality and greedy parlor boys who inherited OUR future without earning or innovating anything with their own initiative or hard work.

  • Asok Asus

    “Tech reaches out to Donald Trump”

    Yeah, whatever. Too bad the highfalutin high-tech F-heads didn’t do their reachinout until after they vigorously opposed President Trump’s election nearly unanimously because they loved Hillary so much and were so absolutely convinced Hillary would crush President Trump like a bug.

    Alas, the masters of the universe of Silicon Valley bet on the crooked nag instead of the steadfast stallion, so reachinout is gonna cost them a whole lot more than if they had bet on the winning horse.

  • Thelip95032

    ‘The groups pushed for government investment in tech infrastructure, tax reform and modernizing rules and laws, plus made recommendations for agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and more.’

    Boy Silicon Valley sure is full
    of themselves. You tried to defeat this guy and now you think you get to recommend who gets put in his administration. You really do live in Lala Land.