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Shapiro Honored, Talks CE Role In U.S. Economy

3/13/2009 01:21:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. – Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president/CEO Gary Shapiro was named a “Titan of Technology” today by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and took the occasion to deliver a speech on technology’s future and our nation’s economy.

Shapiro called innovation and the tech industry our nation’s best hope for jobs and economic recovery. He also expressed concern that government may be making matters worse as our nation faces its toughest challenges since World War II.

NVTC’s Titan of Technology honors leaders in the technology industry, including past honorees Michael Dell and Bill Gates.

In his remarks Shapiro questioned government policies restricting free trade, keeping the best and the brightest out of our nation and stifling innovation. “Will we continue the American tradition of openness and opportunity, or will we succumb to fear and close down our borders to the world?” has asked.

In recent speeches and blogs, Shapiro has been the only national technology association head to oppose pending “card check” legislation for organized labor and call publicly for scrutiny of massive increases in government spending and accumulation of debt, including the highest inflation-adjusted deficit since 1943.

“We need to step back and take a ‘first do no harm’ approach to further legislative action,” Shapiro said in this morning’s NVTC speech. “If there are more stimulus packages they deserve hearings and public vetting. We need the best ideas America has to offer.”

Shapiro unveiled the new CEA Innovation Checklist, available online at www.CE.org/checklist. CEA’s checklist, provided to government officials and industry executives, poses six questions by which officials should evaluate all legislative proposals to ensure they benefit our country. Questions include whether the proposal creates jobs, spurs new technology, welcomes the best and brightest to the U.S. and rewards risk taking.

Applying the CEA checklist to certain pending proposals, Shapiro called for our government to expand the H1B visa program to allow technology companies to keep operations in the United States and attract more of the best students from around the world to attend our universities.

Shapiro continued his push for free trade urging passage of pending free trade agreements and opposing the reversion to protectionism that he sees in the “Buy American” provisions added to the stimulus package.

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