Federal Public Policy Priorities
For 2014, TechNet has adopted a focused legislative priority list in an effort to be a leader on select issues of importance to the innovation economy. Based on the legislative priorities of our members, we will focus on the following issues:
High-skilled immigration reform
TechNet believes that meaningful immigration reform legislation should support the growth of America’s innovation economy and provide U.S. employers, research institutions, and universities access to the world’s top talent. Current immigration laws are impeding U.S competition and economic growth.
Trade Initiatives that promote a global innovation economy
Technology plays a major role in the global economy. The international trade agenda should be a catalyst for technology innovation globally. Due to the nature of technology infrastructure, cloud computing and seamless network operations utilize the simplest path for delivery that does not often coincide with natural geographic boundaries. TechNet works with our international industry partners to ensure open paths – not barriers to entry – are constructed by trade agreements.
Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) education funding
The number of available science, technology, engineering, and mathematics career-based jobs continues to outpace the American education system’s ability to produce qualified candidates. TechNet strongly supports funding the education system to enhance the curriculums of U.S. schools to increase the number of STEM teachers and graduates trained by American institutions. STEM funding will provide American companies the ability to continue to hire U.S. skilled workers.
TechNet supports federal legislation that ensures our patent and legal systems are balanced and innovation is not impeded. Patents are a key driver in our innovation economy and TechNet recognizes that frivolous litigation threatens to undermine the development of technology through costly and time-consuming lawsuits.
TechNet supports our member companies’ work on best practices to ensure consumers’ trust and confidence of the use of their personal data. The use of industry best practices and guidelines allow companies to stay current with technological changes like the advent of mobile applications without the burdens on forward progress brought about by static regulatory language. Our companies have public privacy guidelines that are transparent and available for review by all consumers.
Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) legislation modernization
Information and communication flow have changed immensely since passage of the ECPA in 1986. TechNet supports modernization of the ECPA regulations to ensure that privacy and control over data are sufficient for both the individual and the company where the data resides. The changes in EPCA should demonstrate consensus on how law enforcement would have access to information without harming the privacy of individuals.
Cybersecurity legislation & education
Creating a public/private partnership that can coordinate the operation of critical infrastructure and improve information sharing is a key goal for TechNet members. Cyber attacks, cybercrime, data theft, and economic disruption created by these criminal acts continue to be a challenge for companies to address. TechNet companies continue to be leaders in working towards the formation of standards and best practices to improve information sharing about the attacks that could help minimize future attacks.
Corporate tax reform
TechNet supports tax policies that encourage American innovation, research and development, economic growth, and job creation. The globally competitive marketplace creates strong economic pressures for manufacturers to choose locations that are financially supportive of business models. Lowering the corporate tax rate and moving to a competitive, market-based tax system is important to the U.S. remaining a world leader in the creation and success of innovative, global companies.
TechNet is a leader in driving clean energy policies that promote innovation and consumer choice. TechNet supports federal policies to spur the deployment of fuel cells, solar, wind, energy storage, advanced clean combustion and clean transportation. TechNet supports smart-grid technologies and initiatives that help consumers control their energy consumption, use energy more efficiently, and reduce utility bills by empowering ratepayers with access to energy data. TechNet supports continued federal involvement in the research and development of alternative energy sources through ARPA-E, a program TechNet developed with policymakers, and via tax credits for the adoption of clean energy technology.