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US election results and the future landscape for the tech scene

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Donald Trump wins’ presidential election. Not a headline many newspapers or broadcasters were expecting or wanting to report on in the early hours of this morning. In what comes as a global shock the celebrity businessman and political outsider pipped secretary of state Hillary Clinton to the post dominating key states Florida and Ohio, winning in 28 states overall.

 

As the rest of the world woke up to the monumental news, swathes of Americans considered their future in America, not just the Latin Americans that Trump vilified but people from all walks of life. Google reported that Canada’s immigration website crashed in the immediate aftermath of the election as a result of the sheer number of people looking to emigrate.

Like the levels of optimism, the FTSE 100 took a dramatic nosedive in the immediate aftermath of the election announcement, falling by 144 points, wiping £37 billion of the stock markets in seconds. Sobering up slightly after Trump made his victory speech the FTSE is now stable, good news for the pound which has risen 1.2% against the dollar. It’s also good news for Bitcoin which is surging as it did too following Brexit, as investors store up on nationless online currency.

The economy was an undoubtedly an issue for which voters made their decision but perhaps more intrinsic was the issue of immigration. The talk of the giant Mexican wall sparked outcry across the globe but as that now appears more likely, just what does Trump’s victory mean for those in search of the American dream?

 

The beacon of America is a wanderlust for many technologists, with the allure of Silicon Valley and the pull of some of the best technology universities in the world, the US is globally renowned as the leading tech hub. But with Trump’s victory now confirmed will it have the same lure for technologists as it once did?

Trump’s hard-line take on immigration will almost undoubtedly have an immense bearing on foreign students and technologists looking for jobs in the US. Indian technologists who have a significant presence in the US will grip their H1 – B visas tightly to their chests.

While Trump may have been quick to overlook international talent, we at Global {M} know the high calibre of top university talent that comes from the sub continent. Director Alex Hemsley notes that since founding Global {M} in 2012, we have been fully committed to embracing a global approach when sourcing the best technological talent. We are fully aware that without immigration there would be no Silicon Valley nor Silicon Roundabout in London as we know it. Since the early 1990’s, immigrants have founded more than half of the current US based startups valued at $1 billion or more.

 

Getting Silicon Valley on side was a priority for both parties, with prominent issues like the digital single market and privacy shield high on the agenda.

President Obama had long made it a priority to bring technology into his administration and we would hope that now this groundwork has been laid this will continue through Trump. But an open letter from more than 140 tech leaders including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, suggested that an elected Trump would be a “disaster for innovation”, his planned policies of the blocking of movement of people and restricting foreign employment hindering the very things that have built the US as a leading tech hub.

 

Whilst we do not know the full details of Trump’s technology agenda he has been forthcoming with his cyber security plan. The Cyber Review Team headed under Trump will immediately review all of the US cyber defenses across various sectors.

His ingrained Republican stance of pro-business, low taxes and minimal regulation also means that he is adamant that US companies should produce their own goods within the US, placing a proposed 35% tax made on products outside the US. For this to be at least possible greater attention and funding would have to be placed on encouraging technology training programs in schools and colleges which surely would only be a good thing for US citizens. There is also suggestion that Trump will introduce tax breaks for large corporations, which could in theory make billions available for tech firms.

 

“While news of the election has echoes of Brexit, we are confident that the tech scene remains robust. There is no doubt that Silicon Valley will remain at the forefront of innovation. Disruption is nothing new to the tech industry and Trump’s candidacy has potential to bring technology training and education to many more Americans in order to continue innovating the US tech scene” Alex Hemsley Director, Global {M}.

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