The start of the 115th Congress and the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on January 20th present Washington with the opportunity to address the economic concerns voiced by voters last November. These concerns in part propelled the president-elect’s victory and resulted in Republican control of both the House and Senate. The tech industry will play a critical role in driving the economic growth that voters demanded; increasingly, technology is the enabling force for traditional industries across the United States, making them competitive in the 21st century economy. From agriculture and transportation to small businesses and professional services, industries across the gamut have been transformed into tech-enabled industries.
In addition to serving as an engine for economic growth and competitive strength, the tech sector contributes over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy and employs nearly 30,000 people per congressional district, totaling just under 13 million people across the country. Moreover, computing occupations are now the lead source of domestic wage growth and hold the key to economic prosperity for future generations.
The Congress, the Trump Administration, and the tech industry must collaborate to implement smart policies that will spur growth across all industries within our economy. With that in mind, ITI is releasing our legislative priorities for the 115th Congress. These priorities touch on a broad range of issues and are definitive ways to unleash economic growth and robust job creation, including:
Updating the Tax Code: Outdated and uncompetitive, the U.S. tax code is in need of a major overhaul. Congress should pass pro-growth tax reform legislation that includes a lower, competitive corporate tax rate, a market-based international tax system, and robust incentives for innovation and research and development (R&D).
Ensuring Market Access for Technology Products and Services: Congress and the administration should pursue a forward-thinking trade agenda that opens new markets; levels the playing field for U.S. technology products and services worldwide; and aggressively responds to unfair trade restrictions, including prohibitions on forced localization of goods, services, or data.
Streamlining and Reforming the Acquisition and Procurement Process: Federal agencies spend approximately 80 percent of their total technology budget on maintaining outdated legacy computer systems. Congress should reform the way the federal government procures and utilizes technology to ensure all government users keep pace with innovation and modern solutions.
Modernizing U.S. Transportation and Infrastructure: Our nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of an upgrade. Investing in infrastructure that integrates both physical and digital elements can increase economic productivity by 60 percent when compared to investment in traditional infrastructure alone. Congress and the administration should ensure infrastructure funding fully leverages the significant economic and societal benefits that technology and smart infrastructure can offer.
ITI, our member companies, and the rest of the tech sector stand ready to work with the new Congress and the Trump Administration on these and other relevant policy initiatives to ensure the continued growth, competitiveness, and ingenuity of the U.S. economy.