Top Tech News HOME LATEST NEWS NEWSLETTERS SEARCH Search
  LATEST NEWS FOR FRIDAY JANUARY 20

Close Search Box
Top Tech News
MICROSOFT/WINDOWS
Trump Impact: Microsoft's Global Reach May Narrow
Posted November 11, 2016
Trump Impact: Microsoft's Global Reach May Narrow
YOU ARE HERE:   HOME arrow MICROSOFT/WINDOWS arrow THIS STORY
NEWS OPS

By Matt Day. Updated November 11, 2016 7:15AM

SHARE

ALSO SEE

Microsoft, a company whose employees and products span the globe, faces the prospect of a nationalist tinge to policies in its home country with the election of Donald Trump.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, said in a report on Wednesday that Trump had outlined few specific policy positions on the technology industry.

But in areas where Trump had touched on the industry, the tone has occasionally been critical.

Trump's hard line on immigration is at odds with the position of Microsoft and much of the company's peers.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and the leader of the company's legal and lobbying organization, has campaigned for an increase in the number of skilled workers the company can bring in to the country.

Microsoft, like many technology firms, has come to rely on guest workers who live in the U.S. under the H-1B visa program. During his campaign, Trump said he opposed the program, though his statements on the matter have also been contradictory. He, at times, indicated support for the visas, suggesting raising wages for visa holders and smoothing their path to receiving permanent residency.

The trade policy of a Trump administration could also concern Microsoft.

As a candidate, he opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the giant trade framework under consideration in Congress that Microsoft and much of American big business supported. He has struck a generally protectionist tone, and pledged to renegotiate existing trade deals.

At an event in September in Vancouver, B.C., Microsoft co-founder and board member Bill Gates said Microsoft was structured on the assumption that people, products and ideas could compete in an open global marketplace.

Though he didn't mention Trump by name, Gates said the rebuke to a more interconnected world dealt by the Brexit vote and "some other things" was worrying.

"Microsoft and my foundation are really predicated on a huge amount of cooperation between all the different countries in the world," Gates said.

A Trump administration could be good for Microsoft's pocket book, however.

His tax plan would lower the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent, from 35 percent today. Trump has also proposed taxing foreign profits repatriated to the U.S. at a 10 percent rate.

Microsoft, which has structured its global operations to avoid U.S. taxes, at the end of June had more than $124 billion in income, untaxed in the U.S., held overseas. The company's tax bill at the current rate were it to repatriate that sum would be $39 billion, the company says.

Other tech giants, including Apple, Google, and Oracle, also have large sums sitting overseas not subject to U.S. taxes.

In a blog post posted Wednesday afternoon, Smith offered Microsoft's congratulations to Trump, and said he looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress.

The vote, he said, "registered a strong concern about the plight of those who feel left out and left behind."

Smith, who in August hosted a fundraiser for Democractic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, advocated investments in education and infrastructure. He also stuck up for Microsoft's immigrant-heavy workforce.

"We're committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but the type of inclusive culture that will enable people to do their best work and pursue rewarding careers," he said.

© 2017 Seattle Times syndicated under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Suzanne:
Posted: 2016-11-11 @ 1:13pm PT
I think all this worry is completely unnecessary. One of Trump's primary goals is to make America great again, using his extensive business expertise and negotiating power.

He's not against immigration. He's against ILLEGAL immigration. He's not against bringing skilled labor to the US, but he makes a solid point that, as a nation, we should be able to produce much more of our own skilled labor.

He's not against trade. He's against a trade IMBALANCE where the US imports goods from other countries but they don't buy a relatively equal amount from our US companies.

Yes, many goods are manufactured overseas that could be made in the US. If we can keep more jobs and create more jobs in the US, we won't need to spend as much on welfare, unemployment, and other government assistance because people will be employed, making good money to support themselves and their families.

I really hope our country can get past the negativity and focus on creating jobs -- and yes, I mean jobs with equal pay for men and women.

The level of unemployment in the US and people living from paycheck to paycheck is simply unacceptable. It's gotten worse since 2008 and as far as I can see, it is finally about to get better.

Let's all calm down and give the man a chance.

MORE IN MICROSOFT/WINDOWS

Next Article >

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
This Spotlight
Is Brought to You By:

INSIDE TOP TECH NEWS NETWORK SITES SERVICES BENEFITS