Dean C. Garfield photo
GARFIELD: High-tech hopes for Washington

Despite an anguished labor market - the nation shed another 85,000 jobs in December - U.S. leaders still seem mired in politics and hesitant to act boldly to reverse our economy's deterioration. 

High-tech companies understand the mounting pressures that are weighing down American families, businesses and policymakers. However, these companies are also acutely aware of the opportunities and 21st century solutions that are attainable with appropriate policies in place. The policy proposals outlined below will help our country enter the new decade in a position of strength. If the U.S. government aims to create real, lasting job growth, new proposals should harness the power of the tech sector to help our country innovate its way out of economic stagnation. Congress and the administration should use the high tech industry as part of its plans for recovery, and: 

  • Cultivate the world's best and brightest workforce with training programs focused on future market demands, and proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math. Push legislation to retain skilled foreign workers already in the U.S. or seeking advanced degrees at our colleges and universities. 

  • Spur tech investments by enacting a permanent and strengthened research and development tax credit with other competitive business tax incentives. Reform the U.S. corporate tax code comprehensively to level the playing field with foreign competitors, and create investment tax incentives like bonus depreciation. 

  • Promote exports of U.S. goods and services by fulfilling recent commitments to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Promote trade in green technologies with a comprehensive Environmental Goods and Services Agreement, and win passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. 

  • Accelerate the release of recovery funds to fund broadband deployment and adoption, universal health information technology, and green energy, including the Smart Grid, to restore U.S. leadership in sectors that have been designated priorities for governments around the world. 

The high-tech sector will stand by the administration and Congress with a seriousness of purpose to match the significance of the challenges and opportunities that are before us. If we implement proactive tax, trade and talent policies, the same technologies that have "flattened" the world have the power to ensure that U.S.-based companies continue to compete and win around the world.