CEA on SOTU: Trade and Balanced Approach to Open Internet Will Help Drive Innovation

President ignores other key innovation policies

Arlington, Va., January 20, 2015 - The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), regarding tonight's State of the Union address:

"President Obama accurately noted that 21st century businesses will rely on American science, technology, research and development to succeed in the global economy. But we are disappointed he missed the opportunity to push for strategic immigration reform to keep the world's best and brightest here in the U.S. to build companies and create jobs, a key policy component necessary to maintain our leadership in innovation. We also would have appreciated the recognition he provided in the 2014 State of the Union speech that patent trolls are hurting America's job creators.

"We do appreciate President Obama's promise to proactively seek bipartisan support of trade promotion authority (TPA), especially with the opportunity we have this year to pass trade agreements that help our manufacturing sector. Great technology is among our country's greatest competitive advantages - CEA's latest report estimates total consumer electronics industry revenues will reach $223 billion by the end of 2015, a record high. But to compete in the global marketplace, U.S. manufacturers have to be able to effectively supply the world with their products. Passing TPA legislation that reflects the realities of the digital age would not only improve U.S. trade, but also strengthen job creation and bolster our economic recovery.

"While we agree with the need to preserve an open Internet, the best way to do so is through a measured and common-sense approach that encourages competition among Internet Service Providers and investment in the Internet - a solution that balances the desire for open access with the need to continue encouraging innovation. Additionally, we support the president's call to reform unfair and outdated tax laws that allow more than $2 trillion in U.S. corporate earnings to be held overseas, and use those funds to help upgrade our nation's infrastructure.

"Finally, we strongly endorse the president's call to U.S. businesses to hire our veterans, especially those transitioning from the military to the private sector. Just this month, CEA and U.S. Tech Vets marked the one-year anniversary of USTechVets.org, an online community connecting U.S. service members with employment opportunities in technology. Last year, the TechVets network provided access to veteran-friendly jobs and resources to more than 50,000 visitors.

"We look forward to working with the new Congress to find bipartisan solutions to these and other priority issues that drive U.S. innovation, create new jobs and strengthen our economy."

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $223 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES - The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at CE.org, DeclareInnovation.com

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