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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 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.

Espinel also serves as the President of Software.org: the BSA Foundation. Software.org is an independent and nonpartisan international research organization created to help policymakers and the broader public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society.

Espinel served for a decade in the White House, for both Republican and Democratic Administrations as President Obama’s advisor on intellectual property and, before that, as the first ever chief US trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation at USTR. She was also 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 before audiences 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 Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. She 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. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriaespinel.

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