OTHER POLICY ISSUES

Conflict Minerals

CEA believes that mining activities that finance the ongoing civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are unacceptable and strongly supports efforts to ensure transparency and responsible sourcing. Through industry groups like the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global eSustainability Initiative, the high-tech sector is working to ensure conflict-free sourcing of minerals, including the development of a smelter validation plan, support for pilot projects and due diligence guidelines for mining activities.

Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation is central to America’s entrepreneurial culture. Older, established industries may claim that disruptive technologies harm their business models but the reality is that “creative destruction” drives the market through innovation, displaces older technology or ideas with the new, and improves our lives. Recently, CEA has supported disruptive technologies such as DISH Network’s “Hopper”, Aereo’s service to modernize access to broadcast television, and Uber’s popular internet-based on-call car service. It is essential that disruptive innovation be allowed to move forward, and not be stopped by incumbent industries with legal or regulatory power in order to fuel the next generation of innovation.

Immigration

Innovative immigrants have always been - and will continue to be - central to America's growth, job creation and global competitiveness. CEA supports strategic immigration reforms that encourage foreign-born entrepreneurs and U.S.-educated immigrants to remain in the United States to build businesses and create domestic jobs.

  • July 30, 2013 - CEA joined a coalition of 428 organizations in a letter calling on every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In the letter, the group, which also includes organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FWD.us, and TechAmerica, emphasizes how outdated immigration laws are hurting the American economy stating that they "are united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system."
  • June 20, 2013 - CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro joined with more than 100 executives from the technology sector and leading innovation advocacy organizations to call on the U.S. Senate to approve comprehensive immigration reform legislation (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013/S. 744).  In the letter, the technology executives wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and all members of the Senate.  The executives urged the Senate to quickly approve the bill that includes reforms to enable a more open and flexible U.S. immigration system for high-skilled workers.
  • May 21, 2013 - CEA joined with other associations in sending a letter to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express strong support for the bipartisan agreement on amendments to the high-skilled visas provisions in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). This agreement will ensure our nation’s skilled temporary visa programs work in a way that protects American workers while enabling our economy to strengthen and grow from access to critically needed talent
  • May 13, 2013 - CEA, along with 23 other national business organizations and 31 regional business groups, sent a letter to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that outlined their concerns with S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. In the letter, the organizations ask for improvements to the legislation that will “enable U.S. employers to use these visa programs to complement and grow their permanent U.S. workforce, maximizing business and investment activity in the U.S.”

Privacy

CEA and its member companies strongly believe that data collected electronically provides enormous consumer benefits and services. As such, CEA believes that any discussion of proposed privacy laws and regulations must be measured alongside the advantages afforded by the rich and often-times free innovations available online. Before any policy is adopted, we must collectively first come to a definitive, clear and data-based conclusion and consensus about what harm, if any, we seek to address.

Product Safety

CEA actively works with its over 2,000 members to ensure the safe use of their products. Through its Product Safety Working Group, CEA has launched over the years public relations campaigns aimed at educating the public about proper television placement to prevent injuries from falling television sets as well as other important safety issues.  For more information on these efforts, please consult CE Cares: CEA's Comprehensive Safety Campaign (www.ce.org/safety).

CEA also continues to pursue changes to international and North American-specific safety standards. Most recently, the Product Safety Working Group worked expeditiously to address button battery ingestion.  The group developed an industry standard for audio and video devices containing such batteries, which was recently adopted by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It requires a tool or two independent and simultaneous movements to open a battery compartment. The standard also requires warning symbols and language on the device containing the battery and in the owner’s manual on the hazards of button cell battery ingestion. CEA believes this new standard, along with parental supervision, will be an effective step forward in addressing the button battery issue.

Right to Repair

CEA strongly supports both federal and state Right to Repair legislation, which would ensure that small and independent installation technicians have access to the bare minimum of information needed to design and install aftermarket products.

SAFE DRIVING

CEA believes that safety is paramount and a driver’s highest priority must be safe control of the vehicle at all times. CEA has supported state legislation imposing limits on the use of in-vehicle electronics to ensure driver safety. At the same time, however, policy-makers must recognize that many in-vehicle electronics can contribute to safer driving and offer a number of valuable benefits. CEA supports ongoing consumer awareness and education through the “Safe Driving” portion of our DigitalTips website.

  • June 18, 2013 - CEA’s Laura Knapp Chadwick, senior manager, government affairs, appeared on NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s recent report, Measuring Cognitive Distractions in the Automobile, during Nnamdi’s Tech Tuesday segment. Knapp Chadwick explained why CEA disagrees with the report, and offered answers for safer driving. 

Workplace Regulation

CEA opposed passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “Card Check,” which would have eliminated the secret ballot election for union representation and mandate binding federal arbitration between an employer and employee unions.