CES: A Crossroad Between Policy and Innovation

The 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is not just the largest technology convention in the United States; it’s the largest convention in the United States period. According to International CES, which is owned and produced by NAM member Consumer Technology Association (CTA), more than 3,600 companies will exhibit and launch in the ballpark of 20,000 products this week from the show. 

Manufacturers are leading innovators in technology, and dozens of NAM members are participating, exhibiting and even rolling out new product lines. While the 2016 International CES is the epicenter of showcasing all of the latest and greatest gadgetry, it also provides a platform for some of the nation’s leading voices on policy issues impacting our industry.

With an eye toward the policy implications of technological developments, the CES Innovation Policy panels provide a forum in which participants can engage on legislative and regulatory concerns. A full list of the Innovation Policy panels—all of which are live-streamed—is available here.

A few of note:

Internet of Things (IoT): Myriad Benefits and New ChallengesU.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and the Honorable Julie Brill, commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, join experts from Samsung and CISCO, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology and a state secretary from the German government to discuss the impact the IoT will have on consumers, the industry and the government. The IoT is having a transformative impact on all the manufacturing sectors represented at the 2016 International CES, and we must ensure that the government acts as a partner with the industry in the development of this technology. Read more about the impact the IoT is having on manufacturers by clicking here.

Innovating Privacy: New Frameworks for Changing TechnologyHilary Cain, director of technology and innovation policy at Toyota, and Mike Hintze, chief privacy counsel at Microsoft Corporation—both NAM members—are sharing a panel discussion with the Honorable Maureen Ohlhausen, commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, on the new privacy issues faced by the industry and consumers. As technology is widely deployed across our shop floors and throughout our finished products, it is generating significant amounts of data. Manufacturers place the highest priority on the privacy of this information and work closely with our customers to ensure it is secure.

Federal and State Chemical Regulation: TSCA ReformStephen Harper, global director of environment, energy and sustainability policy at Intel Corp., an NAM member, joins Mike Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council, and Jennifer Gibbons, senior director of state government affairs at the Toy Industry Association—both groups are members of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations—along with Rachel Jones, NAM director of energy and resources policy, as panelists discussing the impact legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) ultimately has on consumer electronics, toys, upstream chemicals and manufacturers.

Our current chemical laws fail to reflect modern realities. When the TSCA was written, we were still listening to eight-track tapes, and the Internet hadn’t been invented. The TSCA is the nation’s primary law governing the use and manufacture of chemicals, but it has not been updated since its enactment nearly 40 years ago. Over that time, innovations in the manufacture and use of chemicals have rendered the TSCA out of date. The law has failed to operate as intended, and states have stepped in to regulate independently. As a result, the growing patchwork of different rules in different states creates regulatory uncertainty for manufacturers, distributors and end users.

Manufacturers are leading technology innovators. The NAM hears from our members of all sizes around the country almost every day about the high-tech solutions they deliver. They know they need to innovate their products, processes and delivery if they are to compete globally.

The NAM and our D.A.T.A. Policy Center work to educate policymakers and the general public on how important connected manufacturing is in the U.S. economy and for job creation and that Washington can play a role in ensuring there is no hindrance to innovations in new technology.

Brian Raymond

Brian Raymond

Director of Innovation Policy at National Association of Manufacturers
Brian Raymond is the Director of Innovation Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). He works with NAM members, the Administration and Congress to shape and advance pro-manufacturing positions on technology policy issues ranging from intellectual property protection, privacy issues and cyber/data security to net neutrality and R&D funding.
Brian Raymond

Leave a Reply