In a speech to the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president and CEO Gary Shapiro called innovation and the tech industry the United States' best hope for jobs and economic recovery. He also expressed concern that government may be making matters worse as our nation faces its toughest challenges since World War II.
Shapiro also questioned government policies restricting free trade, keeping the best and the brightest out of the U.S. and stifling innovation. "Will we continue the American tradition of openness and opportunity, or will we succumb to fear and close down our borders to the world?" Shapiro asked.
"We need to step back and take a 'first do no harm' approach to further legislative action," Shapiro said in this morning's NVTC speech. "If there are more stimulus packages they deserve hearings and public vetting. We need the best ideas America has to offer."
Shapiro also unveiled the new CEA Innovation Checklist, available online at www.CE.org/checklist. CEA's checklist, provided to government officials and industry executives, poses six questions by which officials should evaluate all legislative proposals to ensure they benefit the U.S. Questions include whether the proposal creates jobs, spurs new technology, welcomes the best and brightest to the U.S., and rewards risk taking.
Applying the CEA checklist to certain pending proposals, Shapiro called for our government to once again welcome the best and brightest to the U.S. nation by expanding the H1B visa program. He suggested that expanding the program would allow technology companies to keep operations in the United States and more of the best students from around the world to attend U.S. universities.
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