America is a land of entrepreneurs. We celebrate inventors, growth companies, new products and new technologies. As entrepreneurs and small businesses are among our most important sources of new technologies, we should design our economic security system to support their growth. Taxes must be kept low, regulations minimized, and free trade expanded.
Already, the President has:
Enacted the Largest Tax Relief in a Generation. On June 7, 2001, the President signed into law the bipartisan tax relief he proposed during his campaign. The tax relief reduced the tax burden on successful entrepreneurs and effectively moderated the economic slowdown that began in 2000. It will result in greater investment and economic activity in the years ahead.
Accelerated Tax Depreciation Schedules for Capital Investment. Advanced technologies are often rendered obsolete well before they are expensed under the tax code. Extended depreciation timelines increase the cost of capital investment in technology and create a disincentive for new investment. The President signed into law reforms of depreciation schedules as part of the economic stimulus package on March 9, 2002.
Pressed for Congressional Action on Trade Promotion Authority. On December 6, 2001, the House of Representatives voted to renew Trade Promotion Authority, a vote the President worked tirelessly to secure. The Senate passed its version of Trade Promotion Authority renewal on May 23, 2002. The President continues to work to obtain an effective and unencumbered renewal of Trade Promotion Authority.
Modernized High Tech Export Controls. The President has led the effort to reform our export control system both to strengthen our national security and our high tech industrys ability to compete overseas. The current high tech export control system is awkwardly structured, hindering U.S. businesses, while failing to strengthen our national security. The administration is committed to fundamental reform of the export control system, including passage of the Export Administration Act. As an important interim step to ensure that industry is not burdened with outdated licensing requirements, the Administration has significantly raised the control levels for computer systems and announced the elimination of outmoded controls on general purpose microprocessors.
Signed the Internet Tax Moratorium. On November 28, 2001, the President signed into law H.R. 1552, the Internet Non-Discrimination Act. The Administration supported extension of the Internet Tax Moratorium because the President believes the federal government must do its part to make Internet access affordable (by avoiding access taxes) and to encourage innovation in applications and evolving e-commerce business practices.
Reinvigorated Global Dialogue on Free Trade. At the Fourth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (Doha, Qatar, November 9-14, 2001), President Bush overcame anti-globalization inertia from the previous WTO meeting in Seattle and reinvigorated efforts to promote enhanced global trade and partnerships.
Kept the Internet a Duty-Free Zone. Also at Doha, Qatar, the Administration sought and secured an extension of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. This action preserves the Internet as a duty-free zone, facilitating the growth of e-commerce around the world.
Established Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. President Bush extended permanent normal trading relations with China and allowed Chinas accession to the World Trade Organization. Because China is the largest emerging market in the world, American technology companies should benefit from the increased trade with China.
Protected U.S. Intellectual Property Rights. Consistent with the Presidents pledge to strenuously protect intellectual property rights, the Administration successfully infiltrated and broke-up the notorious DrinkOrDie software piracy ring, seizing contraband and making arrests in 27 cities.
Provided Regulatory Relief for Government Contractors, Repealing "Blacklisting" Rule. The President repealed the so-called "blacklisting" rule. This rule threatened government contractors, including technology companies, with arbitrary and unfair removal from consideration for government contracts.
Improved Cybersecurity. The Administration is working to improve on-line security to create a safer and more stable environment for e-commerce.
- Successfully Negotiated the "Cybercrime Convention." On November 23, 2001, the United States signed the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention along with 28 other nations. The Administration helped negotiate this important treaty, which is the first international treaty to address cybercrime. The Convention will help us and other countries fight criminals and terrorists who use computers to commit crimes, like assaulting global information infrastructures.
- Expanded and Strengthened Critical Infrastructure Protections. The President recognized the need to ensure continued operation of Americas critical services by creating a national board and designating a special advisor for cyberspace security. Since October, the Presidents Critical Infrastructure Protection Board has organized national committees to streamline initiatives and address emergency planning. The Board has initiated research into potential methods to isolate and protect government agency intranets that carry critical communications. It has fostered an unprecedented national government/industry partnership to provide alerts and warnings for cyber threats. It has requested that priority communications services be developed for use during times of crisis. The Board in partnership with the private sector is preparing a national strategy to secure cyberspace.
- Improved higher education for cyber defense professionals. By injecting scholarship funding into universities across America, the Cybercorps Scholarship for Service program encourages college students to become high tech computer security professionals within the government. Managed by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Personnel Management, this program also helps build academic programs at universities in the area of computer security.
- Implemented New Federal Standard for Computer Security. The President helped foster better computer security at federal agencies. A new federal standard approved for use on December 4, 2001, is designed to protect sensitive, unclassified information well into the 21st Century. The new standard, called the Advanced Encryption Standard, also is expected to be used widely in the private sector, benefiting millions of consumers and businesses.