Smith takes helm of Senate’s high tech task force
Feb 02,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Oregon high tech companies will impact technology debate in Congress

This week, Oregon’s Gordon Smith (R-OR) was appointed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to be Chairman of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force.  The task force helps facilitate an exchange of views between the Senate and America’s job creators in high tech industries. 

Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) was elected Chairman of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force.
“High tech companies are innovators driving the American economy,” Smith said.  “Public policy needs to be clearing the path for high tech industries to grow and expand.  In the 21st Century economy American companies have to be competitive globally.  The High Tech Task Force will focus on reforming the tax code and federal regulations to give these job creators an edge over competitors abroad.”

Senator Smith’s appointment creates new opportunities for Oregon’s high tech companies to impact the technology debate in Congress. 

Will Swope, Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Hillsboro, OR, based Intel, Oregon’s largest private employer, applauded the senator’s appointment, “Senator Smith has remained a strong and steady voice in support of expanded trade opportunities, which recognize the reality of the global economy,” said Swope. “He has also been a leader in support of increased research and development funding, knowing the significant impact that technology development has for the U.S. economy.”

Rick Wills, Chairman, President and CEO of Beaverton, OR based Tektronix, Inc., noted Smith would be a “strong” and “articulate voice” for Oregon’s high tech companies.  Wills said, “Technology companies face fierce global competition.  [Senator Smith] understands the issues technology companies face and [Senator Smith] will work with the technology community to ensure that American businesses thrive in the global economy.”

Senator Smith has served as a member of the High Tech Task Force since 2001.   In this role, he has been a leading advocate for telecom reform, broadband deployment to rural areas, and ensuring that federal regulations and the tax code do not hinder technological growth.  The High Tech Task Force is the leading advocate for the technology sector on Capitol Hill and was created in 1999 to advise the Republican Caucus on technology issues.