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Building on a Constructive Conversation

Wednesday’s meeting between President-elect Trump and executives from numerous software and technology companies has been reported with great fanfare. Rather than the tense exchange that many pundits predicted, the sit-down provided an opportunity for a constructive conversation. This is a welcome development, and it points to a real opportunity for government and industry to work together to help bolster the $1 trillion impact that the software industry has all across the US economy.

Here are some ways we can work toward that goal: The president-elect and software companies can help grow jobs in the United States by focusing on efforts to bolster STEM education and improve training programs. The incoming administration can also ensure that the path forward on trade ensures a level playing field in the digital space. Across the administration’s developing agenda – from efforts to make reduce government waste and improve services to projects to update infrastructure – software and software companies can offer real expertise and improvements.

Making progress here will require hard work and engagement and we look forward to working toward these goals.

Victoria Espinel

Author:

Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance and President of Software.org: the BSA Foundation, is a respected authority on the intersection of technology innovation, global markets and public policy. She leads strategic efforts that help shape the technology landscape in 60 countries through work in BSA’s 10 global offices.

Prior to heading BSA | The Software Alliance, Espinel served for a decade in the White House, for both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Espinel advised President Obama on pivotal IP issues in her role as the first US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. She was the chief US trade negotiator on IP innovation as the nation’s first Assistant United States Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation. She has also served as a professor of international trade and intellectual property at the George Mason School of Law.

Espinel is a founding and ongoing co-sponsor of Girls Who Code’s Washington, DC, summer immersion program, which empowers young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. She speaks at conferences around the world to build visibility for the amazing things people can do with software, and encourages businesses, governments, and the public to support a policy environment that will enable even more software breakthroughs.

Espinel chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), the principal advisory group for the US government on international trade. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics, a JD from Georgetown University Law School, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

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