Trump and Tech, what does the future hold?
A few weeks later and the news is just starting to sink in that Donald Trump is the next President Elect.
Despite the media attention from news reporters, economists and even other politicians we still seem no closer to deciphering his outlandish policies. Even less is known about his proposed technology agenda.
While we will have to wait until the new year for some clarification, there are three areas of particular interest that we can speculate on.
Trump on Britain:
“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise” (Theresa May, 2016)
Perhaps, but let’s not forget that Theresa May was the ninth political leader to be called, behind leaders from Ireland, Japan and Australia. Considering Obama’s stark warning about that ‘special relationship’ changing following the Brexit vote does Britain now have to resign to the fact that it is further down the list than it would have hoped? Fear not though, because Nigel Farage has scored a huge political coup becoming the first British politician to meet Trump following his win. Along the campaign trail Trump and Farage remained allies, with Farage even attending a pre-election rally in Mississippi. Brexit provided common ground and Farage is hopeful that he will be influential in continuing to foster relations between the UK and America’s newest president.
Trump on tech:
His views on tech, well we’re still trumped on that one, unlike Clinton, Trump did not set out a comprehensive agenda for his plans for the tech industry. What he has clarified though is his cyber security plan, which will immediately review all of the US cyber defences 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. “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.” While a nice idea, in reality if Apple were to manufacture in the US the price of an iPhone would more likely retail at around $900 in order to offset worker’s wages.
Only last week the Internet Association, a group representing the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google wrote an open letter to Trump highlighting a number of policy priorities for the coming four years – the overriding message to keep the internet regulation untouched.
Michael Beckerman, President of the Internet Association wrote “The internet represents the best of American innovation, freedom and ingenuity…businesses of all sizes are able to connect with new customers at the touch of a button and compete on a global scale in ways impossible just a decade ago. Nowhere was this more apparent than your use of the internet to connect with, and energize voters throughout the campaign.”
The letter is the latest signal that the tech industry is keen to continue to innovate and grow and can only do so if Trump reviews his position on freedom of data and future trade agreements. In accordance the tech industry has solidly been pushing for looser rules on high skilled immigration, with Mark Zuckerberg publicly urging government to review its immigration proposals.
Trump on climate change technology:
One thing we can be clear on is that Donald Trump believes climate change is a hoax conducted by China to hamper other economies. We can assume that the Trump administration will halt any spending on green technology potentially chocking new innovative technologies in development and in turn undermining the efforts of Obama to put climate change on the global agenda.
In the wake of his election victory more than 360 businesses including the like of Gap, HP, Nike and Starbucks have urged the President Elect to continue on the path of agreed curbs and controls and upping the research into renewable clean energies. However, Trump’s radical support of the oil and coal industries makes this unlikely.
What we can be completely certain of, is that the whole world will watch with anticipation over the coming months as Trump chooses his delegates and drops hints about how he plans to elect America over the next four years!