Policy

What are President-elect Donald Trump’s tech policies?

By Oliver Smith 9 November 2016
Summary

The newly elected Leader of the Free World, Donald Trump, has only outlined a few tech policies so far, and here they are.

It’s official, Donald Trump will soon become the 45th President of the United States, but what does this political tidal wave mean for the world of technology?

In terms of the plans President-elect Trump promised during his 19 month-long election campaign, there are a few standout pledges:

– Immigration

The key Trump pledge here is to hugely restrict H-1B visas, used by US businesses to recruit skilled talent from abroad, often in the world of tech.

He plans to increase the prevailing wages that these workers are paid, in order to bring them in line with US workers of the same level, reducing the incentive to hire ‘cheap’ overseas workers.

Similar to Britain, supporters of the H-1B visa say it is key for many companies like Apple, Google, etc to recruit the skilled talent they need from overseas, as even the US struggles to create the number of digitally skilled workers to supply its businesses.

Critics of the visa argue that these visas instead keep wages low by letting tech giants recruit cheaper workers from overseas.

– Import tariffs

Anything imported is about to get a lot more expensive, as Trump has promised 20% tariffs on imported products like those from China.

It’s part of his plan to encourage more companies to do their manufacturing in the US.

On this note Trump has picked on Apple as a key example of a business that should “start building their damn computers and things in this country”.

– Cyber security

The majority of Trump’s announced technology policy concerns defending the US from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

He’s promised a full review of America’s cyber-defences and the development of more offensive cyber weapons that the US could use in response to future attacks.

– The internet

Finally Trump has opposed the US government handing over its historical administration powers of the internet over to an independent group.


That’s all we know, for now, about Donald Trump’s plans for US tech.

The key points are clearly his proposals on immigration and import tariffs but, as we’ve seen over the last 19 months, Trump is never short of new surprises.