New York’s tech and innovation leadership threatened by short-sighted decision-making

New York State has one of the most vibrant innovation ecosystems in the United States. From 2017 to 2021, 7,321 New York-based startups raised a whopping $116.5 billion in private venture capital to fund their innovative ideas and grow their businesses. State agencies in New York are also significant players, investing more in research and development than any other state in the country.

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In sum, empire is the powerhouse of American innovation, which is critical as our nation engages in high-stakes competition with authoritarian regimes determined to undermine our values ​​and institutions — and outstrip American technological superiority.

To continue to outperform our totalitarian competitors and reduce our reliance on foreign-made technology, elected officials — including President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — must focus on promoting America’s world-leading Policies for tech companies to grow, not kill them.

In fact, tech is not just another sector of the economy. It is the backbone of our national security, economic prosperity, and the free flow of information across borders. Technological power is increasingly becoming geopolitical power.

China understands the power and importance of technology. That’s why it’s pouring trillions of dollars into developing its own innovation capabilities. As a result of these investments and China’s blatant theft of technology, America’s advantage over China in key areas has slipped. Another part of its strategy is to make Western countries increasingly dependent on China, including its technology. In fact, in a speech in 2020, President Xi Jinping made it clear that “we must strengthen the dependence of international production chains on China.”

Unfortunately, instead of countering China’s dependency strategy, some lawmakers have inadvertently fueled this effort by supporting anti-innovation policies. In Washington, D.C., populist politicians on both the left and the right have introduced a series of bills that would stifle innovation, reduce capital investment and discourage entrepreneurship. Worse, many of the most stringent restrictions in these bills do not apply to foreign technology companies, including Chinese ones.

The lawmakers also want to limit mergers and acquisitions by top U.S. technology companies. This would seriously disrupt the innovation ecosystem, as being acquired by a larger company is the preferred exit strategy for the vast majority of startups. If investors do not earn a reasonable return through acquisitions, their money will flow away from startups, undermining innovation and reducing job creation.

Over the past few decades, short-sighted policy decisions have cost New York more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs. We cannot make the same mistakes in technology. It matters which country builds the future. U.S. technology companies operate globally and help advance Western values ​​of an open and accessible internet. Washington and New York should continue to focus on stimulating innovation, not scaring it away. The stakes are too high and we need to get this right.

Doug Kelly is American Edge Projecta coalition of nearly two dozen organizations, including major technology companies and trade groups, working to advance and protect American technology and innovation.

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