National Press Club

Consumer Electronics Chief Suggests Innovations

June 22, 2009 | By MIke Smith

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Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, announced a campaign to ensure innovative technology has priority in future government policies. He discussed global free trade, national debt and how tech can lead the U.S. out of recession at Newsmaker June 16.

Shapiro also declared the HDTV transition this week an unmitigated success "by any measure." He has been working on High Definition TV as a US standard for almost 20 years, leading electronics industry efforts to convert American households.

The Innovation Movement has 14,000 high tech "members" advocating pro-growth economic policy and elimination of the national deficit. “Innovation is the backbone of our economy,” Shapiro said, calling American's the true global innovators. “The CEA Innovation Movement will help speed our economic recovery."

A six-point Innovation checklist will drive the Innovation Movement and will be applied to all proposed legislation for which CEA and industry allies lobby. Points on the checklist include: American job sustainability, promotion of American exports, and spurring new technologies.

Shapiro called for more expansive free trade agreements, including support for Colombian and South American Free Trade. He said lack of a South American Free Trade Agreement harnesses American business with onerous tariffs. Shapiro said: “free trade encourages innovation.”

“If you can obtain the best products quickly, easily and at a reasonable price from anywhere in the world you can innovate in design, marketing and distribution,” Shaprio added. “Free trade between countries means both nations benefit.”

CEA is the producer of the annual consumer electronics show, which drew over 115,000 people last year to Las Vegas. Tech products showcased last Jan. include HDTV, 3-D and flatscreen monitors,and new mobile applications.