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JAN 20, 2015 | US

President's SOTU Address Underscores Need for Action to Help Drive Innovation, Data Economy

WASHINGTON, DC — January 20, 2015 — 

BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed policy priorities announced by President Obama in his State of the Union address that will help advance issues critical to the software industry. In his address the president touched on key priorities outlined in BSA’s 2015 Legislative Agenda released last week, including trade, innovation, and the digital economy.

On Trade:“We commend President Obama’s commitment to a comprehensive, forward-looking trade agenda,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel. “2015 is an important year for trade policy, with the potential for a landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that is truly designed for the 21st century. Companies of all sizes around the world depend on one, cohesive marketplace. If we are to grow the digital economy and drive the next wave of innovation, preserving and encouraging the free flow of information across borders must be a top priority.”

On Cybersecurity:“More than ever before there is a clear need for strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity. We welcome President Obama’s efforts and those of Congress to increase the partnership and collaboration between industry and government. This approach will allow us to better identify and defend against the increasing number of sophisticated, evolving cybersecurity threats,” said Espinel.

On Surveillance Reform:“Sending a clear signal to the American public and international community that the United States is committed to upholding essential privacy protections while safeguarding the country's national security is critical to restoring trust in the digital economy,” said Espinel. “We welcome the President’s support for increased transparency and oversight in U.S. surveillance programs. With key provisions of the Patriot Act expiring this year, now is the time for strong presidential leadership and cooperation on both sides of the aisle.”

On Innovation:“Patents and intellectual property are a driving force behind American prosperity and innovation, which is why Congress and the administration should complete their work reforming the U.S. patent system so innovators aren’t deterred by overzealous and abusive litigation,” said Espinel. “We are encouraged that there is a bipartisan consensus – from the White House to the halls of Congress – to address this and we look forward to working with lawmakers to pass patent reform legislation this year.”

On Immigration:“One of the greatest challenges the software industry faces is finding and retaining enough highly-skilled employees to help design the next wave of innovation. Reforming the H1-B visa program to allow more highly trained workers to fill these critical roles is an essential element of any immigration package,” said Espinel.

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