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2016 Newsmakers of the Year: The Industry’s Point Man

There’s justification to be made to include CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro on this feature every year. There really isn’t a happening in the technology industry that doesn’t have Shapiro near the center or at least in its orbit. He is the Zelig of innovation.

Shapiro has always advocated for the industry when it comes to government policy but this year saw him take on a much more active role on the national political stage. While Shapiro has always leaned right when it comes to fiscal and regulatory matters, he has been non-partisan for the most part in his dealing with Congress and presidential administrations. Then along came Donald Trump.

Shapiro took to the media to argue that the last things the tech sector needs are further limits on immigration, tariffs on imports and government strong-arming of manufacturers over where they make their products, all things proposed by Trump.

But now that The Donald has morphed into President-elect Trump, Shapiro has taken the time to look at the glass half full. Like any good Washington player, he’s focusing his efforts now on what can be accomplished to help the tech sector.

It’s not a flip-flop on Shapiro’s part, but a pragmatic decision. He will no doubt be a keen observer of the new administration and continue his efforts to get government policy to be on the correct side of innovation. If he disagrees with something, we will surely hear about it.

See the rest of the 2016 Newsmakers of the Year.