April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today eight of the most respected voices representing technology and Internet companies of all sizes joined together to release statements of support following the introduction of bipartisan legislation which will update and renew trade promotion authority (TPA). With the introduction of this bill, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have taken an important step to bring Congress’s direction to U.S. negotiators into the digital and Internet era.  

The products and services our member companies make and offer connect people, businesses, and governments in ways that were not possible when TPA was previously passed in 2002. The trade agreements currently being negotiated represent a tremendous opportunity to open new markets for our industry and set the rules for the 21st century digital economy, but TPA is an important and critical first step to ensure those agreements are robust and meet the high standards U.S. workers and businesses demand.  This means trade agreements absolutely must include new language that recognizes the vital role technology, digital goods and services, and the Internet play in our modern economy.

The leaders of the eight organizations released the following statements:

Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA, said: “We commend Senators Hatch and Wyden and Congressman Ryan for their leadership in updating trade promotion authority legislation to reflect a 21st century trade regime. This legislation will help ensure that pending trade agreements include necessary rules to promote cross-border data flows. This is critical for the software industry and other sectors of our economy to capitalize on trade opportunities and realize the benefits of the growing data economy,” said

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, said: “TPA that takes a modern approach to trade agreements to ensure a robust digital economy and growth of the Internet is vital to American innovation. Wednesday, we had dozens of companies on Capitol Hill meeting with their representatives to tell their stories of employment and business'- TPA will help grow American innovation."

Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), said: “Tech's message to Congress is simple: supporting TPA will promote job creation and propel us forward in building a strong 21st century economy.  Contrary to the same, recycled talking points being used to scare people, trade promotion authority is actually about growing the economy and putting more Americans to work. With 95 percent of customers living outside of the U.S., new markets must be opened so that businesses can reach new customers.

John Neuffer, President and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), said: “TPA represents a much-needed shot in the arm for free trade, which is critical to the U.S. semiconductor industry, to American jobs, and to our economy,” said John Neuffer, president & CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). “Semiconductors are one of America’s top exports, and more than 80 percent of U.S. semiconductor sales are to customers abroad, so our industry depends heavily on access to international markets. We applaud introduction of this pro-growth legislation and urge lawmakers to act swiftly to approve it.”

Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said: "By eliminating counterproductive trade barriers, we can increase tax revenue, grow GDP and create jobs at home. We applaud Congress for its leadership in introducing Trade Promotion Authority legislation and urge its passage. Our businesses rely on a robust export market and this bill will go a long way in empowering the U.S. and enabling U.S. companies to remain competitive across the globe."

Ken Wasch, the President of the Software & Information Industry Association, said: "TPA is essential in allowing us to build on the success of the software industry which is increasingly the backbone of the economy as Robert Shapiro demonstrated in his report on the The U.S. Software Industry as an Engine for Economic Growth and Employment."

Linda Moore, President and CEO of TechNet, said: “Congress must seize this rare bipartisan opportunity to modernize TPA and give American businesses that rely on trade a chance to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

Scott Belcher, CEO of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), said: "The passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation is critical to increasing the competitiveness of U.S. companies overseas, particularly in the information and communications industry, and to ensuring continued job growth at home. We’d like to thank Senators Hatch and Wyden, as well as Congressman Ryan, for their tireless efforts to craft this bipartisan bill, and we urge Congress to swiftly approve this important legislation."  

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BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries around the world, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
BSA represents 50 companies.
Press Contact: Kara Kelber, media@bsa.org, 202-530-5141

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $286 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at CE.org, InnovationMovement.com and through social media.
CEA represents more than 2,000 companies
Press Contacts: Izzy Santa, 703-907-4308, isanta@CE.org; and Tyler Suiters, 703-907-7654, tsuiters@CE.org

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the global voice of the tech sector. As the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies, ITI navigates the relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world. Visit www.itic.org to learn more. Follow us on Twitter for the latest ITI news @ITI_TechTweets.
ITI represents 60 companies.
Press Contact: Duncan Neasham, 202-524-5543, dneasham@itic.org

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America's top export industries and a key driver of America’s economic strength, national security and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – microchips that control all modern electronics – enable the systems and products we use to work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, treat illness, and make new scientific discoveries. The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the United States. In 2014, U.S. semiconductor company sales totaled $173 billion, and semiconductors make the global trillion dollar electronics industry possible. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites companies that account for 80 percent of America’s semiconductor production. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry stakeholders to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition. Learn more at www.semiconductors.org.
SIA unites companies that account for 80 percent of America’s semiconductor production, including more than 20 semiconductor designers and manufacturers that are charter members of the association.    
Press Contact: Dan Rosso, 202-446-1719, drosso@semiconductors.org

SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit www.siia.net.
Press Contact: Sabrina Eyob, seyob@siia.net.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents nearly 400 of Silicon Valley's most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and have more than $6 trillion in annual revenue.
SVLG represents 390 companies.
Press Contact: Steve Wright, 408-501-7853, swright@svlg.org

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, green tech, e-commerce, venture capital and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin.
Press Contact: Brian Weiss, 202-650-5121, bweiss@technet.org

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org for more details. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is a proud sponsor of ANSI’s Standards Boost Business campaign.
TIA represents approximately 500 member companies.
Press Contact: Farrah Kim, 202-568-8986, FarrahKim@Rational360.com

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment