New ITIF Report Breaks Down Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Tech & Innovation Policy; Finds Clinton Has Offered Detailed Agenda, Trump Has Presented Fewer Specifics

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading U.S. science and technology policy think tank, today released a breakdown of the 2016 presidential candidates’ technology and innovation policy agendas. It finds that while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has articulated positions on most issues that ITIF identifies as crucial for promoting innovation, businessman Donald Trump has been much vaguer.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading U.S. science and technology policy think tank, today released a breakdown of the 2016 presidential candidates’ technology and innovation policy agendas. It finds that while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has articulated positions on most issues that ITIF identifies as crucial for promoting innovation, businessman Donald Trump has been much vaguer.

“Whether one believes America is ‘already great’ or needs to be made ‘great again,’ it should be clear that technological innovation is a key factor in that greatness,” said ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson. “It is clear from the candidates’ official positions and public statements that they have very different approaches to technology and innovation policy. Trump has focused on reducing government barriers in the economy, including taxes and regulations, which would, among other things, affect innovation. But he has been largely silent on innovation as a specific issue or goal. Clinton has spoken more explicitly about innovation, with a particular focus on establishing and expanding public-private partnerships to drive innovation and ensure that its benefits are widely shared.”

“As a nonpartisan research and education institute, we don’t endorse candidates for any office,” Atkinson said. “Our goal is only to provide a factual, impartial comparison of their policies to amplify the national dialogue around the need to bolster innovation-based growth.”

In each of the last two presidential elections, ITIF has documented the major-party candidates’ positions on a host of technology and innovation policy issues, gathering information directly from the campaigns’ websites, their policy documents, and from media accounts of statements the candidates have made. This year’s report summarizes Clinton and Trump’s general philosophies on technology, innovation, and trade policy, then compares the candidates’ positions across nine specific issue areas:
-Innovation and R&D
-Education and Skills
-Taxes and Budget
-Trade
-Regulation
-Broadband and Telecommunications
-Internet and Digital Economy
-Advanced Manufacturing
-Life Sciences and Biotechnology

“We believe it is important to clearly document what the two candidates have said, or not said, about these critical innovation issues, as their positions serve as the best-available guide to the next administration’s policy priorities,” said Atkinson. “Technological innovation has long been critically important to both income growth and national competitiveness. As we move forward, ensuring that the United States is doing all it can to advance innovation will continue to be central in addressing key policy challenges, including maintaining national security leadership, spurring productivity and wage growth, driving health-care quality improvement and cost reduction, improving education from grade school through graduate school, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Even in this intense election season, policymakers should agree on the need to advance a serious and comprehensive competitiveness, innovation, and productivity strategy.”

Read the report.

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