In return they got one of their own put in charge of the FCC.
- Click here for the article.
. . . while many technology companies have shared policy interests, they don’t yet see themselves as a political cohort, which “makes it quite hard to organize them in any sort of politically effective way.”
“Until just a few years ago, the perspective in Silicon Valley was to have nothing to do with Washington,” he said. “It’s only in the last few years that tech companies have really established a significant lobbying presence in Washington.”
Becky Tallent, the head of U.S. government relations for Dropbox and a former immigration assistant to former House Speaker John Boehner, also sees technology’s relationship to government as just starting to grow.
“There is a generational gap between the people who are running our government right now and the people who are using the technology and creating the technology,” she said.
The big political concerns for the tech industry this election cycle include trade and the status of high-tech H-1B visas. In 2015, the U.S. exported nearly $205 billion worth of computer and electronic products, constituting 13.6 percent of total U.S. exports, the second-largest category of exports. That’s why many tech executives have been alarmed by Trump’s opposition to free trade and trade agreements. Clinton now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership but is much more supportive of free trade than Trump is. In addition, Clinton wants to continue the H-1B visa program, while Trump has criticized it and said he will severely limit it. The program is designed to supply workers in specialty fields when Americans are in short supply, though one pending lawsuit alleges it has been used improperly, with Americans training their cheaper replacements.
The H-1B program, along with various post-student work visas, have been gateways into American entrepreneurship for some of America’s biggest tech companies. A 2016 report by the National Foundation for American Policy, a business-oriented research group that supports immigration, found that more than half of America’s billion-dollar startups were founded or co-founded by immigrants.