By Megan Bozman
I tend to steer clear of any discussion of religion and politics in business. Like many Americans, I save those topics for conversations with family around the Thanksgiving dinner table!
But this election, as we all know, is different.
Quite a few comprehensive articles have arisen since yesterday on the possible impacts of a Trump presidency for technology in general, and IoT specifically. So I’ll provide a synopsis of key points with links to other sources, and leave my opinions out of it. We all know what opinions are like… how everyone’s got one.
- Forcing Apple To Build Their Damn Computers In The U.S.
During a speech in January at Liberty University in Virginia, Trump said, “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”
He also, “called for a boycott of the company’s products over its encryption stance following the San Bernardino mass shooting and bombing attempt.”
Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016
- Slower Adoption of Industrial IoT
Industrial IoT has great potential for factory automation, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. But it can also lead to a loss of jobs. Increasing manufacturing jobs has been a key issue for the Trump campaign. While it’s unclear how government could impact industrial IoT, Business Insider published, “The IoT will likely be de-emphasized and advocated against by the executive branch due to the potential impacts on jobs.”
- Difficulty Recruiting Skilled Tech Talent
Trump’s policies include a clamp down on H-1B visas, which will make it hard for US-based businesses to bring in skilled tech talent from abroad.
“By introducing caps on visas, rapidly growing tech companies in the U.S. will find it more difficult to bring in talent acquihired elsewhere, making it more attractive for companies like Apple to simply expand their overseas operations.”
- Slower Adoption of Self-Driving Cars
Tesla has been a forerunner in the development of autonomous vehicles. Teslas also happen to be fully electric, and generous tax credits have helped make Teslas (relatively) more affordable. However, Trump has stated he thinks climate change is a myth altogether, or not man-made. Therefore the Trump administration may very well look to discontinue these tax credits, slowing purchases of Teslas and, with it, potentially slowing expansion of semi-autonomous and self-driving cars.
- Stagnating Smart City Development
“With Trump’s tax plan estimated to reduce federal revenues by $9.5 trillion over 10 years, funding for smart city initiatives will likely fade from prominence due to a lack of budget. Further, smart city developments focused on environmental impacts specifically will face the same hurdles as electric car subsidies as policies to combat climate change are de-emphasized.”
- Problems for Amazon and Jeff Bezos
Trump’s campaign claimed The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, was being used as political leverage so Amazon doesn’t “get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.”
“If I become president, do they have problems,” Trump said back in February, referring to Jeff Bezos and Amazon. “They’re going to have such problems.”
- Net Neutrality at Risk
“Trump’s major gripe with net neutrality seems to involve his equating the concept with censorship. He’s referred to it a “top down power grab” and compared it unfavorably to the FCC’s fairness doctrine, which attempted to require broadcasters to give equal time to all sides of an issue. His planned appointment of anti-regulatory crusader Jeffrey Eisenach has been viewed as problematic by net neutrality supporters.”
Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2014
- Very, Very Tough on Cyber
During his first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump was asked about online attacks by moderator Lester Holt, which failed to implicate Russia. He replied, “[W]e had to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a huge problem. I have a son—he’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe, it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing.”
Room for Hope
One theme has remained consistent through a wide variety of press coverage. “While Trump campaigned on a variety of slogans, the reality is that nobody knows what Trump will actually do. Many of his positions have radically changed, even many times just over the course of his campaign,” writes Daniel Eran Dilger.
I’m taking this to mean there is room for hope.