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Hillary Clinton's tech agenda draws cheers from IT industry

Kenneth Corbin | July 4, 2016
Presumptive Democratic nominee calls for investments in STEM education, cybersecurity and job training, pledging to make an open Internet a cornerstone of her administration's diplomacy.

Leading tech groups hailed the release of Hillary Clinton's agenda for promoting technology and innovation, praising the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's focus on issues like cybersecurity and her acknowledgement that the industry is vital to the nation's economic prosperity.

Clinton's "initiative on technology and innovation" comes as the most detailed elucidation of a technology platform from a major presidential candidate this election season, a multi-pronged plan that touches on issues like promoting science and technical education, building out broadband infrastructure and defending net neutrality.

In a fact sheet explaining her plan, Clinton says that her "priority is to harness the power of technology and innovation so that it works for all Americans, creating good-paying jobs throughout the country."

"Doing this right will not only boost economic growth, it will lead to immeasurable social benefits," the campaign says, looking ahead to home monitoring systems to help with senior care, next-gen education technology and Internet-enabled traffic and safety applications for smarter transportation networks.

"[W]ith the right public policies," the campaign says, "we can ensure that technology is a force for broad-based growth, reducing social and economic inequality, and securing American leadership on the global stage."

That type of language drew plaudits from some of the trade groups that have been lobbying for more tech-friendly policies in Washington.

In a statement, Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association, says that "it's encouraging that Secretary Clinton is taking the initiative as the first major presidential candidate in this election cycle to put technology and innovation issues front-and-center in the national policy debate."

Donald Trump, presumed to be the Republican nominee, has had little to say about the issues Clinton highlighted in her technology agenda. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tech sector encouraged by Clinton’s focus on STEM education, digital security

Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, hailed Clinton's focus on STEM, worker training and cybersecurity, along with her support of an open Internet and enhanced Internet connectivity, saying that he is "encouraged" by Clinton's "focus on some of the most important tech issues of our time."

"As the election moves into the general election phase, we look forward to increased conversations on technology from both candidates," Thibodeaux says.

Dean Garfield of the Information Technology Industry Council was more subdued in his reaction, praising Clinton for supporting many of the items that his group and other tech organizations laid out in their own policy agenda (PDF available here) in May. However, he urged Clinton to commit to a more business-friendly tax plan, and to get behind international trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. CTA also urged Clinton to endorse the TPP, which she says she opposes, modifying her earlier position.


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