Daily Management Review

US Business Lobby Urge Biden Administration For A Digital Policy To Counter China Threat


According to industry groups and former United States officials, countering China’s growing technological power needs development of China’s growing technological power by the new Biden administration of the US.
Among the measures that the Biden administration needs to take include increasing the access of broadband across the country, helping American companies to sell abroad and become the global leader in the data and technology policy sphere, the experts said. Without these, they said, it is likely that the American tech companies would be overtaken by the Chinese ones.
“The Biden administration must seize this moment to launch a comprehensive, whole-of-government digital strategy, providing good jobs for workers sidelined by automation and upgrading U.S. competitiveness,” the American Leadership Initiative (ALI), a think tank led by former U.S. trade negotiator Orit Frenkel, said in a report published on Thursday.
Prior to this report a few days ago, an urgent call to the US government was given by the US Chamber of Commerce, the biggest US business lobby, to strike partnerships with like minded governments and the tech industry for developing and setting up of global tech standards. That call was given in a January 27 recommendation by the Chamber.
Business groups want the new US government to make radical changes to its efforts to counter the tech achievements of China in fields such as artificial intelligence. The industry experts have the lobby group have said that the current American policies and efforts were poorly coordinated and were mostly done with political aim in mind under the former US president Donald Trump.
Trump’s approach toward China on trade, technology and other areas is being reviewed by the Biden administration.
According to the ALI, one of the most critical steps is the setting up of an “Office of Global Digital Policy” at the White House so that the Biden administration is able to work more closely with America’s allies.
A large number of specific recommendations which includes expansion of access to broadband, more of connected devices, further digital training and education to address existing racial, socioeconomic and geographic disparities were made in the ALI’s report which was formed on data gathered from six months of meetings with experts, business leaders, academics and elected officials, which included Antony Blinken, the current US Secretary of State.
“Forty million Americans do not have reliable internet service, or none at all, and among low-income households, 30% don’t have a smart phone,” Frenkel, a former General Electric Co executive, said.
Achieving universal broadband would cost the government about $80 billion, according to the estimates of the US Federal Communications Commission.
The suggested recommendations could be included in the infrastructure investment plan that is being planned to be unveiled later this year by Biden officials after the government is able to secure a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package from, the Congress.
While she was still at GE, the aggressive push to sell its technology by China was witnessed by her, Frenkel said, and noted that such a policy did raise critical security concerns. Developing countries too were able to acquire more refined tools for monitoring and censoring their people with the help of Chinese technologies, she said.