The American Edge Project is a new, national coalition dedicated to the proposition that U.S. innovators are an essential part of our American economic health, national security, and individual freedoms. This organization’s leadership includes key conservative experts and leaders, such as former Republican U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Florida’s senators have demonstrated longstanding support of Florida’s small businesses, especially throughout the pandemic. Their support of relief measures such as the Paycheck Protection Program were critical lifelines during the pandemic.
Now, as we continue to head toward recovery, some troublesome measures being debated before Congress would have serious unintended consequences on a sector of our economy that kept Florida connected and our businesses afloat during the darkest days of the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, technology emerged as a crucial bridge to help us survive amid social distancing and other public health measures that significantly reduced in-person revenue. Nearly 70 percent of Florida’s small businesses increased their use of digital tools during COVID-19.
For many of us, social media and other online marketing tools enabled us to keep our doors open, continue doing business and even reach new customers online. And post-COVID-19, more than half of Florida’s small businesses say they plan to use even more digital tools.
Amid the economic challenges we’ve faced over the last 18 months, we can’t afford hurtful new policies that could have damaging implications for Florida’s economic recovery. The ramifications that the sweeping package of U.S. House anti-competition bills will have on America’s technological advantage and the downstream impacts on small businesses could be devastating.
This legislation would hinder American companies while providing an advantage to state-sponsored entities, ultimately benefiting foreign adversaries like China, who would be eager to take advantage and eclipse American’s tech edge.
“It’s no secret that China wants to surpass the United States and become the world’s dominant tech leader. Our nation’s top national security experts all agree: This the wrong time to be handicapping American innovators and giving a competitive advantage to foreign tech rivals,” said Frances Townsend, former White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor “This misguided legislation will only embolden China, paving the way for foreign adversaries to dominate the digital landscape, undermining a key national security advantage.”
Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott should consider the role technology has played in Florida’s economy and reject these misguided proposals that could hamper our recovery, further put small businesses at a disadvantage, and cede our competitive edge to adversaries.
As these bills continue to move in the House, it is a critical time to continue to prioritize smart policies that will bolster Florida’s tech sector and unlock success and prosperity for Floridians.