Monthly Archives: January 2017

Statement on Immigration and Innovation

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January 31  |  Federal Issues  |   Carl Guardino

“The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an organization of 400 employers with facilities in all 50 states and almost every Congressional District, urges the Trump Administration, House and Senate to unite around the freedoms upon which our nation was founded. Our country’s greatest ideals embrace and respect people of all ethnicities, national backgrounds and faiths. Let’s build upon that tradition now and always.”

“The Leadership Group respects that our national security must remain a paramount concern of our Federal Government. We also believe our actions must be tempered by thoughtful, measured decisions that will strengthen our economy, security and moral authority.”

“Silicon Valley and much of America’s Innovation Economy has been built through the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of courageous immigrants and refugees. In fact, 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Whether iconic global brands or struggling entrepreneurial start-ups, innovation economy companies are created disproportionately by immigrants. In Silicon Valley, 58 percent of our engineers – the lifeblood of Silicon Valley – are foreign-born. Whether it is Intel Co-Founder Andy Grove, Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang or Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin, we are proud that so many leaders born outside of the United States moved here – often at great risk – to call our Country home.”

“Through this lens, we urge the Administration and Congress to never forget that we are a nation of immigrants, often refugees, whose diversity is the backbone of our unity. Our economy and quality of life are enhanced by waves of immigrants who continue to help build our Country.”

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The Death of TPP Impacts You and Me

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January 25  |  Tech & Innovation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Does the death of TPP matter to you and me?

TPP – the Trans-Pacific Partnership – was President Obama’s seven-year effort for an international trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, representing 40 percent of global GDP.

I say “was” because, as promised, one of President Trump’s first actions in office was to end America’s participation in TPP. His stated reason, pulling out of TPP is “good for American workers.”

I guess that is true, unless you are one of 45 million American workers who’s jobs are dependent on international trade. In fact, American jobs tied to trade pay, on average, 18 percent higher wages than the same American job that is not tied to international trade.

In Silicon Valley alone, just looking at the three Congressional Districts that take in San Jose – the 17th (Ro Khanna), 18th (Anna Eshoo) and 19th (Zoe Lofgren) – 105,000 local workers, and by extension their families, have jobs dependent on international trade.

Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negatively impacts the lives and livelihoods of those 105,000 local workers, and their families.

Thanks to President Obama’s seven-year effort, TPP also had the highest labor standards and the highest environmental standards of any trade deal in the history of the world. And those standards were enforceable.

In addition, TPP protected individuals and employers, in terms of our personal data privacy, and our companies’ intellectual property.

Some think that international trade only impacts tech-workers. Not true. Jobs depending on international trade range from financial services to farming, agriculture to entertainment, to name but a few.

Here in Silicon Valley, where 26 of every 100 jobs are with a tech company, it matters even more. Without a robust tech-driven economy, there are fewer dollars in disposable income to spend in restaurants and retail, dry cleaners and department stores, auto dealerships and home purchases.

So who’s smiling because of the President’s Executive Order killing U.S. participation in TPP? Primarily the Chinese Government, who are already stepping in to negotiate trade deals with the remaining TPP countries. You can bet those deals will not benefit American workers, employers or our economy.

The death of TPP negatively impacts you and me, and the strength of Silicon Valley’s economy.

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