Key Issues

IBM believes active engagement in global policy is key to enabling innovation that is essential to our company, and the world. For 2016, IBM’s Public Policy and Legislative Priorities include:

  • CORPORATE AND INTERNATIONAL TAX REFORM – IBM continues to work for bipartisan fundamental tax reform that modernizes the corporate tax system with a lower competitive rate and updated international tax rules. The U.S. is a less competitive outlier among its major trading partners. Meaningful tax reform is needed to promote and retain investment in the U.S., and to keep American companies globally competitive, particularly as most countries around the global continue to reduce their corporate tax burdens. (Contact Linda Evans, levans@us.ibm.com).
  • DEFEND TRADE SECRETS ACT – IBM supports the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (S.1890 and H.R. 3326), bipartisan, bicameral legislation to create a federal civil cause of action to stop trade secret theft. The remedies made available under this legislation will help IBM enhance protection of valuable confidential information such as manufacturing processes and software source code. (Contact: Marc Williams, marcwill@us.ibm.com).
  • HEALTH IT INNOVATION – IBM supported passage of the bipartisan MEDTECH Act, S.1101, through the Senate HELP Committee on March 9, 2016. The bill would spur innovation by providing regulatory clarity and certainty for low-risk clinical decision support (CDS) software. As the Senate moves to advance the Innovation legislative package before the full chamber, IBM supports the inclusion of S. 1101 to pave the way for exciting new technologies to help clinicians better identify and personalize patient treatment options, and significantly enhance the patient experience. (Contact: Yelena Vaynberg, yvaynbe@us.ibm.com).
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING – IBM supports the Energy Policy Modernization Act S. 2012. The Act includes, Section 2401, the Exascale Research Program, which is companion language to H.R. 874 passed by the House in 2015, to drive next generation computing. IBM will work for enactment of this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that appropriately promotes the development of high performance computing, in particular Exascale computing and related analytics. (Contact: Mark O’Riley, mcoriley@us.ibm.com).
  • HIGH-SKILLED IMMIGRATION REFORM – IBM supports a modern, flexible immigration system that includes more high-skilled (H-1B and H-1L) visas and employment-based green cards, combined with additional STEM education funding.  Such a system will support IBM’s strong domestic pipeline of skilled talent, as well as new business growth and technological leadership in the United States. We urge Congress to legislate fixes to America’s broken high-skilled immigration system as soon as possible. (Contact Meredith Singer, singerme@us.ibm.com).
  • PATENT LITIGATION REFORM – IBM supports the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, to discourage frivolous patent litigation that affects businesses of all sizes, and that does not include proposals to expand or extend the temporary covered business patent proceeding at the Patent Office that would harm software patents. We also support the PATENT Act, S. 1137 that curbs abusive behaviors in our patent litigation system while preserving protections for innovative technologies that spur economic growth. (Contact: Marc Williams, marcwill@us.ibm.com).
  • PERKINS CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT (CTE) – IBM supports the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Perkins CTE Act to improve the supply of workforce-ready graduates, align CTE programs to local, state, and regional market needs, and support collaboration between secondary and post-secondary institutions and employers. (Contact: Ned McCulloch, nmcculloch@us.ibm.com).
  • PRIVACY – THE EMAIL PRIVACY ACT — IBM supports the Email Privacy Act, which updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by extending warrant protections to government requests for information stored in the cloud with limited exceptions.  An updated ECPA would formalize current widespread practice and reflect the reasonable expectations of Internet users with respect to the privacy of information stored in the cloud.  (Contact: Jill Caiazzo, jcaiazzo@us.ibm.com)
  • TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TRADE AGREEMENT – IBM strongly supports Congressional ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 21st Century Trade agreement that will promote U.S. exports and support high-skill jobs.  IBM competes in over 170 countries and relies on free trade agreements (FTAs) to open world markets to U.S. innovations. TPP is the first FTA specifically designed for the global digital economy, enabling the free flow of data across borders and promoting data-driven innovation, an area of U.S. economic strength. (Contact: Steve Stewart, stewarts@us.ibm.com).

Learn more about IBM’s positions on Taxation, Technology PolicyTrade Facilitation and Workforce Flexibility.

Download IBM’s 2016 Key Issues Overview.