Trumps Presidency Could Upend the Way Silicon Valley Works

During the presidential campaign, Silicon Valley managers all but uniformly rebuffed Donald Trump. Now they’re struggling to come to terms with what his presidency will mean for their industry.

Under President Obama, Silicon Valley became very friendly with Washingtonand the relationship proceeded both methods. Tech firms spent millions to lobby Congress, while former political strategists often left the White House for Bay Area tech tasks. After his term is over, President Obama himself is reportedly likely to stay links between tech, with much of the work ofhis charitable presidential footingtied to the progress of inventions in Silicon Valley.

The reality of a Trump presidency may even be vastly different for tech.

” He barely made any appeal to Silicon Valley for their support ,” articulates Justin Gest, an assistant professor of our policies at George Mason University.” So his allegiance to growing their businesses is uncertain .”

Trump also neglected during the campaign to define its own position on so many issues that affect the tech manufacture. Heres how the Trump platform may, er, “disrupt” a number of policies that matter most to the Valley.

Offshore Manufacturing and Trade

Never mind the fact that Trumps own firms produce thousands of items overseas.” Were going to get Apple to improve their damn computers and happens in this country instead of in other countries ,” he promised at Liberty University as early as January, a commitment he echoed at other affairs. His situation: punish firms that offshore production by placing tariffs on their importations back to the US.

Trump neglected during the campaign to define its own position on so many issues that affect the tech manufacture.

The problem is that, at least in Apples case, obliging adherence to this policy would be both logistically hopeless and economically ruinous. Coercing Apple to induce the iPhone in the US would constitute the machine so wildly expensive that it would become least competitive with foreign competitors like Samsung. And with shriveled margins, Apple would have to look for other lieu to cut down on expensesincluding scaling back corporate procedures or closing retail points, which already hire thousands of Americansjobs at home Trump purportedly hopes to save.

But Trumps commercial policy go beyond this one case with Apple. Trump has blamed both China and Mexico, proposing a covering 45 percent levy on Chinese imports and 35 percent levy on Mexican importations if the two countries do not reform their policies changing US trade. I thoughts the tech manufacture is going to have to[ react to this] collectively, articulates Rob Atkinson, chairman of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The doubt is, are they capable of behaving collectively, or are they individual conglomerates that just do whats best for them?


So much work in Silicon Valley relies upon immigrants. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of US unicornsstartups that are valued at$ 1 billion or morehave at least one immigrant founder. The top occupation at some of techs most fixed firms have immigrants helming the ship, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And immigrants have replenished the middle grades of many tech firms as well, especially in technological jobs.

But Trump campaigned aggressively on limiting migration, limiteds that could extend to the H-1B visa program for skilled foreign workers on which the tech manufacture so heavily relies. Silicon Valley is not able to witness an immediate immigration-related blow, since is asking for these proletarians far exceeds supply at the moment, articulates Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. But Trump has changed his mind several times about the programmes, making it difficult to know exactly where he stands.

On-Demand Economy and Work

Silicon Valley has long bought into the gospel of interruption. So many startups have made a business out of upending stodgy old-time institutionsthink Uber and the taxi manufacture or Airbnb and hotels. A whole brand-new practice of doing job has risen up around the on-demand economy: the collect of firms, from Instacart to Lyft, built around personnels that can be summoned with a tap in an app.

Under a Trump administration, its not clear whether this kind of flexible work will continue to exist as it does today. Sundararajan, whose job focuses on the on-demand economy, expects to see tax policies friendly to small businesses, including people who list themselves up as” organizations of one .” On the other side, Trump’s pledge to abolish the Affordable Care Act would be hugely damaging to gig economy workers. As independent contractors, they dont get paid time off, proletarians compensation, or health insurance through the companies they gig for, such as Uber. If the ACA is razed, they may need to seek full-time tasks that furnish health benefits, which could hurt the companies that rely on their labor.

R& D, AI and Robotics

Want to know more about Trump’s programs on invention and R& D? So does everyone else. On problems from federal funded for tech and technology commercialization to supporting startups and reforming the patent structure, he appears to haveno situation.

Its possible that funded for science and R& D goes by the wayside, articulates Atkinson, pointing to the fact that Trump has not mentioned any of his a blueprint for commissioning anyone to produced the National Science Foundation or the National Institute of Health. It just doesnt seem to be his priority.

It’s possible Trump may wind up openly at odds with research on artificial intelligence and automation.” My sense is that his primary base overlaps vastly with specific populations whose jobs are more at risk ,” Sundararajan articulates. Still, that potential opponent is not able to have an immediate effect.” The research that they are able to lead to the near-term curve has ever been done, or going on here in firms like Google ,” he says.


Over the past three years especially so, the tech manufacture has vocally committed itself to the work of diversification. Theyve hired heads of diversification for their companies. Theyve instituted bias-mitigating programs. They regularly exhaust their employee demographics in a commitment to transparency about the issue, even when those reports demonstrate the numbers are barely budging. Diversity, these companies suggest, takes time.

This commitment to diversity may be even more challenging in the era of Trump. His campaign established an extraordinary willingness to insult pretty much every minority group in the US. And across the industry, tech CEOs have recognized the need to redouble their commitment to diversification. Apple CEO Tim Cooktold employees in a memoranda this week that” the only practice has progressed is to move forward together .”

” We’ll is a significant proponent for all issues that affect our employees and our values as a company( LGBTQ privileges, fair immigration policies, ethnic and gender equality, etc .),” Box CEO Aaron Levie wrote. LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner and eBay’s Devin Wenigalsoweighed in. The one tech VIP who has explicitly aligned himself with the brand-new Trump administration is billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who controversially backed Trump’s candidacy and will reportedly be part of the presidentialtransition crew.

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