Joe Biden has won the race for the presidency. He takes the White House alongside his Vice President, Kamala Harris who will make history as the first woman, and the first woman of Jamaican and Indian heritage, to hold the office. Trump has not conceded and maintains his intention to challenge the election results.
Fighting the Coronavirus pandemic will clearly be a priority for the new administration when they take office, and Biden has already announced his intention to gather scientists and experts to that end. The pandemic has also laid bare the first issue for the tech agenda; notably the digital divide across America. Biden has pledged to increase the spread of broadband, investing $20bn in an effort to connect rural America and offer equal opportunities throughout the land.
On the extended tech programme will be topics including immigration, antitrust and Big Tech. Biden’s pledged stance on immigration will be to address a more immigrant-friendly policy; increasing the number of visas and removing limits on employment-based green cards to open up the talent pool and encourage the freer movement of skilled workers into the US.
Handling the growth of tech giants such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will also feature on the agenda, as the decades-old Liability law Section 230 sees reform and – potentially – repeal. The Democrats, like the Republicans, would like to see the law revoked, although – unsurprisingly – from opposing viewpoints. Democrats believe that Big Tech owners of social media sites should hold more responsibility for views, hate speech and misinformation expressed through its mediums. This would see a U-turn from the Republican view that led the Federal Communications Commission recently to discuss penalising companies who censor their content, branding it bias.
China might be one area on which the Presidential candidates concur – to an extent. Trump’s dealings with China have been assertive; blacklisting, trading curbs and issuing sanctions – all in the name of ‘safeguarding America’s assets’. Don’t expect China trade to be a priority for the Democratic administration, but do expect to see it tackled with the characteristically softer stance for which the President-elect has become known.