Key Issues

IBM believes active engagement in global policy is key to enabling innovation that is essential to our company, and the world. For 2017, IBM’s Public Policy and Legislative Priorities include:

  • PERKINS CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT (CTE)
    IBM strongly supports the reauthorization of Perkins CTE, H.R. 2353, to improve the supply of workforce-ready graduates and align CTE programs to local, state and regional market needs. Perkins will also support collaboration between secondary and post-secondary institutions and employers. Properly aligned CTE programs of study reduce dropout rates and result in higher employment and salaries. IBM continues to focus on improving the educational pipeline for future skills through Perkins CTE and P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) career-focused schools. Our New Collar Jobs campaign focuses on current skills that do not necessarily require a Bachelor’s degree, but instead prioritize capabilities over credentials. Contact: Ned McCulloch, nmcculloch@us.ibm.com

  • CORPORATE TAX REFORM
    IBM has long advocated for corporate tax reform to include a lower competitive rate and the adoption of a territorial tax system similar to those of most competitive countries. The House Tax Blueprint includes both and is a useful framework for forward-looking reform. We await many important details on the border adjustable tax provision to avoid unintended economic consequences. The Trump Administration tax plan also includes a lower rate and territorial. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to enact tax reform that will promote investment, job creation, and keep American companies competitive. Contact: Linda Evans, levans@us.ibm.com

  • HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING
    IBM supports The Department of Energy Innovation and Research Act, H.R. 589, legislation that will help drive the next generation of computing. We are also working for introduction of a Senate companion bill. This legislation is essential to help promote and sustain the development of high performance computing such as Exascale and related analytics. Contact: Mark O’Riley, mcoriley@us.ibm.com & Kevin Walsh, kevin.j.walsh@ibm.com

  • DATA POLICY
    IBM supports the Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, H.R. 1770/ S. 760, to require federal agencies to publish government data in machine-readable open formats, and to use open licenses. OPEN would direct agencies to support innovative uses of government data and adopt consistent and best practices for data across government. National foundational data sets allow companies such as IBM (which includes The Weather Company) improve outcomes for people and business with cognitive computing and advanced analytics. Access to open national data sets significantly improves a wide range of services from enhanced cancer treatment to improved warnings about hazardous weather to minimize property loss. Contact: Marc Williams marcwill@us.ibm.com & Yelena Vaynberg, yvaynbe@us.ibm.com

  • TRADE FACILITATION AND MARKET ACCESS
    IBM competes in more than170 countries and benefits from free trade agreements (FTAs) that open world markets to U.S. innovations, but these agreements need to be modernized to reflect the global digital economy. Data is the lifeblood of the global economy and international commerce cannot function without constant streams of information flowing across borders. Congress should ensure that any new or modernized FTAs include language consistent with TPA to allow the free movement of data across borders and to prohibit requirements to store or process data locally. Contact: Steve Stewart, stewarts@us.ibm.com  & Kevin Walsh, kevin.j.walsh@ibm.com

  • HIGH-SKILLED IMMIGRATION REFORM
    IBM supports a modern, flexible immigration system that includes high-skilled (H-1B) visas and employment-based green cards, with STEM education funding, to build a pipeline of skilled talent. Visas should be prioritized for American-based companies that are investing in the training and education of American workers so that, over time, more Americans can fill the jobs currently held by temporary visa holders. Companies that depend on H-1B visas as a business model, rather than employing U.S. workers, should receive a lower priority in the allocation of these scarce visas. Moreover, salaries should not be used as a sole criterion for the allocation of H-1Bs to ensure that small businesses and organizations apart from the richer, technology-intensive regions, such as Silicon Valley, can continue to afford H-1B workers. In line with our goals, IBM supports the bipartisan House bill, H.R. 170, the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act, as well as the bipartisan, bicameral bills H.R. 392/S. 281, Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017. Contact: Meredith Singer, singerme@us.ibm.com

  • HEALTH IT POLICY – FDA REAUTHORIZATION ACT
    Building on the advancements in the 21st Century Cures Act that require the FDA to establish a framework for the use of real-world evidence (RWE), IBM supports the enhancement of regulatory science that expedites the development of innovative therapies by having the FDA recognize the use of real world evidence in drug approval decision processes. Specifically, IBM supports the FDA Reauthorization Act that includes a pilot project to assess the use of RWE to support premarket activities, including expanded indications for use, new clearances and approvals. Contact: Yelena Vaynberg, yvaynbe@us.ibm.com

  • SOFTWARE PATENT PROTECTION
    IBM believes the future of innovation is in code and seeks legislation to protect the invaluable contributions of software inventions to the U.S. economy. Software is already the medium of modern invention, revolutionizing industries like automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, among many others. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to provide clarity following the Mayo, Myriad, and Alice decisions about eligibility for patenting. Furthermore, the lower courts have created uncertainty by narrowing the ability to obtain and enforce patents in the most cutting edge areas of innovation including software and biotechnology. IBM wants to work with congressional leaders on a forward-looking legislative solution that will showcase the transformative power of software. Contact: Marc Williams, marcwill@us.ibm.com & Yelena Vaynberg, yvaynbe@us.ibm.com

  • CYBERSECURITY
    IBM continues to support public policies that are founded on non-regulatory, voluntary, industry best practices approaches to address cybersecurity risks and enable innovation. Building on cyber policy milestones, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, we are pleased that the recent Executive Order 13800 issued by President Trump focuses on improving federal agency security along with addressing the cybersecurity skills gap. IBM supports policy and operational efforts that promote real time threat information exchange and collaboration to find, manage and remediate cyber attacks – the intelligence-driven future with cognitive security.  Cognitive security products will also create New Collar jobs that demand skills, knowledge, and creative thinking to outsmart cyber criminals. Contact: Katie Ignaszewski,kignasze@us.ibm.com

  • EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES: AI, BLOCKCHAIN AND QUANTUM COMPUTING
    As IBM embraces emerging technologies, we want to work with policy-makers to explore and expand the benefits to society in areas such as healthcare, financial services, taxes, education, government entities, public safety and infrastructure, among others.  AI or “augmented intelligence” systems enhance human capabilities, such as helping physicians better understand medical data and patient information; Blockchain creates trusted networks to secure vast amounts of personal information; Quantum computing will bring significant advancements in processing data to tackle problems that are too complex for current computers – the potential uses and benefits are endless. Contact: Mark O’Riley, mcoriley@us.ibm.com & Kevin Walsh, kevin.j.walsh@ibm.com

Learn more about IBM’s positions on Taxation, Technology PolicyTrade Facilitation and Workforce Flexibility.Download IBM’s 2017 Key Issues Overview.