TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today weighed in with Congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle in support of the pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements [FTA] with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.
The letter from TechNet executives was sent to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).
The following is the text of the letter TechNet sent to Congressional leadership:
“As business leaders committed to the growth of our country’s Innovation Economy, we appreciate your continued leadership in seeking to ensure America’s long-term economic strength. We share your commitment to keeping America strong and competitive in today’s global economy, and respectfully urge you to support the pending United States Free Trade Agreements [FTA] with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.
“If passed, the Colombian, Korean and Panama trade agreements will make it possible for American companies to compete without unfair trade burdens. The technology industry depends on overseas trade for a majority of its business. Approximately two-thirds of the tech industry’s current revenue is generated outside the United States. An even larger segment of our future business will come from overseas. Greater market access in these three countries is worth some $12 billion more in American annual exports; and since these markets are still growing – that number will continue to increase. Korea alone has the highest household broadband penetration rate in the industrialized world, 96 percent, compared to the United States, which is 20th, with 60 percent. Colombia has the second fastest growing middle-class in South America, behind only Brazil. Having access to markets in countries that are rapidly adapting new technologies holds the promise of significant growth opportunities for our companies, customers and employees. Market growth abroad means job creation at home.
“Congressional approval of these trade agreements will provide our industry increased market access; eliminate tariffs on many high-tech products; increase regulatory fairness through improved transparency and accountability; provide duty-free electronic transmissions between countries (e-commerce); and provide strong protection for intellectual property, the lifeblood of the Innovation Economy.”
The Technet letter was signed by: John Chambers, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Cisco; John Melo, Chief Executive Officer, Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc.; Michael R. Splinter, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Applied Materials, Inc.; Rick Lord, Chief Executive Officer, Associated Industries of Massachusetts; Scott A. McGregor, President & Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom Corporation; Rachel Sheinbein, Partner, CMEA Capital; Don Means, Principal, Digital Village; John Donahoe, President & Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc.; Fabio Rosati, President & Chief Executive Officer, Elance; Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer, eMeter Corporation; John Doerr, Partner Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Dean DeBiase, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Entertainment.com; John McAdam, Chief Executive Officer, F5 Networks, Inc.; Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook; Kent Walker, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Google; Paul Guzzi, President & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; Michael Holston, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard; Fred Hoch, President, Illinois Technology Association; A. Douglas Melamed, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Intel; Dr. Patrick Ennis, Global Head of Technology, Intellectual Ventures; Mitchell Gaynor, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Juniper Networks; Ray Lane, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Shaun Cross, Chief Executive Officer, Lee & Hayes; Tom Alberg, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group; Steven A. Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation; Paul R. Gudonis, Chief Executive Officer, Myomo, Inc.; Bruce Aust, Executive Vice President, NASDAQ OMX Group; Scott Cutler, Executive Vice President, NYSE Euronext; Safra Catz; President, Oracle; Paul Lambert, President, Point B, Inc.; Josh Marti, Chief Executive Officer, Point Inside; Lanham Napier, Chief Executive Officer, Rackspace Hosting; Carl Guardino, Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer, Solazyme, Inc.; John Chen, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sybase; Enrique Salem, Chief Executive Officer, Symantec Corporation; Dr. Aart de Geus, Chief Executive Officer, Synopsys, Inc.; and Rey Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer, TechNet.