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Internet Association Sends President-Elect Trump Policy Priorities List: Google, Facebook Among 40 Tech Companies That Sent 12-Page Letter

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A consortium of internet companies has already published a congratulatory missive to President-elect Donald Trump. Alongside a pledge of support, the letter included a laundry list of policies that the signatories hope will be supported during the Trump presidency.

The open letter was signed by 40 internet companies, which include Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Uber and Twitter. It is widely seen as a first step to repairing the relationship between Trump and Silicon Valley.

Tech companies, with a few exceptions, have overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton during the course of the presidential election and even denounced Trump due to his constantly shifting policy positions.

Tech Policy Priorities 

Key policy proposals that could resonate with Trump's team include the easing of regulation and tax cuts for profits from intellectual property. The signatories also want Trump to put pressure on Europe, which has been imposing restrictive policies and rules lately on U.S. tech companies.

The 12-page letter also identified key policies and statutes that must be maintained or reinforced. These include the Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, among others.

Some positions that could clash with Trump's own policy agenda involves the support for strong encryption and the proposal to reform the existing governmental surveillance programs. Trump has previously advocated a boycott of Apple products when the company did not comply with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's request to unlock the encryption of an iPhone owned by a suspected terrorist.

Why Listen To Tech Companies

It is not yet clear, therefore, how Trump is going to respond to the letter. Perhaps in anticipation that the requests will fall on deaf ears, the signatories reminded the president-elect that his campaign has benefitted from tools offered by the tech sector, which energized his supporters in the process.

There was also a reference to the fact that the internet is responsible for 6 percent of the U.S. economy. This was highlighted by figures that could appeal to Mr. Trump's entrepreneurial side such as the potential benefits of global e-commerce for the United States and how the internet is helping propel advanced economies to new heights in the past five years.

Moving Forward

Some tech companies are already instituting their own initiatives to adapt to the possible changes to the regulatory environment and even address issues such as employee morale. Apple's CEO Tim Cook has already sent an email to the company's employees, exhorting them to move forward regardless of which candidate they supported.

"I recall something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago: 'If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward,'" Cook said.

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