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)