Leadership

IT Group’s Legislative Issues Go Beyond Tech

The Information Technology Industry Council's legislative focus for 2013 covers a broad spectrum of interests, but they all have one thing in common: They speak to the association's goals.

An association’s focus may be on a specific topic, but its goals may reach far beyond the industry or profession it serves and affect larger swaths of society.

No issue can better align the U.S. tech industry with U.S. economic growth and competitiveness more than modernizing the antiquated U.S. corporate tax system to attract and retain domestic investment and generate new businesses and jobs.

That’s certainly the case for the Information Technology Industry Council. Robert Hoffman, ITI’s senior vice president for government affairs, this week revealed broad-reaching policy positions for 2013, which cross disciplines but ultimately support the association’s goals.

Some examples:

Corporate tax system reform: One of the association’s three key themes in 2013 is promoting U.S. growth and competitiveness, and in ITI’s view the best possible way is tax reform. “No issue can better align the U.S. tech industry with U.S. economic growth and competitiveness more than modernizing the antiquated U.S. corporate tax system to attract and retain domestic investment and generate new businesses and jobs,” Hoffman writes, citing reductions in the corporate tax rate, keeping the research and development tax credit alive, and adopting a market-driven territorial tax system.

Improving education: The association hopes to get more students interested in its field by focusing on long-term improvements to education. “We will continue to pursue policies that create responsive and robust science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in K-12 and higher education,” Hoffman explains.

Immigration reform: ITI sees immigration reform as an opportunity to help fill gaps in the U.S. job market. “The evidence is overwhelming that if our economy is to flourish in the near and long term, we need to continue to develop and attract talented entrepreneurs and innovators,” writes Hoffman.

Market expansion: Finally, the association sees expansion in global markets as a paramount concern, noting that 95 percent of consumers live outside the United States. The group is encouraging the maintenance of trade relationships with Russia, the conclusion of negotiations regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and efforts against forced localization—the favoritism extended to local goods in such countries as China and Brazil. “Forced localization threatens to undermine global markets and supply chains that have been the source of innovation and business and job generation for our industry and the U.S. economy,” Hoffman concludes.

In each of these cases, the association has found ways to take a broad range of issues—taxes, education, immigration, and trade—and show their importance to its specific industry.

How has your association done the same with your own broader goals? Let us know in the comments.

(iStockPhoto/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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