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  • Writer's pictureAlvaro Hernan

The Future of US Foreign and Tech policy

The transition to the presidency of Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, is moving ahead with speed. As the next Administration prepares, there are two key policy areas that are also shaping up: foreign affairs and technology and digitalization. In recent weeks, Juan Verde, founder and president of Alamo Solutions, has been invited to a series of events and panel discussions to share his personal view on these areas that are likely to be priorities for the next US Administration.

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When it comes to US international affairs, the shift from the current unilateral approach back to the belief in multilateralism will be the most evident change of the US's foreign policy in the next four years, according to Juan Verde. During his intervention at the XIII Foro Atlántico: “Iberoamérica Y El Mundo: Desafíos Postpandemia”, organized by the Fundación Internacional para la Libertad (International Freedom Foundation) presided over by Nobel Laureate in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, Verde explained that most, if not all, of the problems in the world right now have a common denominator, and that is that they need more cooperation to be solved. To illustrate this Verde said that Biden has repeated his intention to bring his country back into the Paris climate agreement which brings the US back to the table.

Along these lines he hinted that the new Biden administration will probably boost closer relationships between the US and Europe as well as with Latin America.. The event held conferences from other distinguished speakers such as Iván Duque, president of Colombia, Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile, or Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, among others.

The other foreign policy priority key point from the upcoming future that Juan Verde mentioned was the conflict with China. Verde, policy expert and corporate strategist and advocate for the green economy, stated that both Republicans and Democrats agree that the US needs to take a strong position towards the Asian powerhouse. However it's likely that in the upcoming years the diplomatic approach with Beijing will shift towards a less aggressive one.

The US President elect, Joe Biden, has stated in multiple times that US national security is related to the development and economic wealth of the country. To this, Juan Verde suggests that the need for a more diverse and robust supply chain is essential. The president of Alamo Solutions, said that Biden would help relocate part of the strategic minerals (rare earths), medical (antibiotics, hospital material, etc.), energy resources (such as lithium, a key component for sustainable energy sectors) supply chain" to Latin America, in order to reduce U.S. dependence on China in those sectors. In fact, the US's return to the Paris Agreement is a great opportunity for Latin America, whose resources and minerals may become strategic for the US to return to become a green economy

The last key takeaway he gave to the forum was that he believes that an increase of investment will take place in infrastructure and economic development in Latin America to tackle the problem of illegal immigration and inequalities. This will be a great opportunity for both governments and companies in this region to boost its potential and become more active and global players.

Juan Verde was also invited by the Technological Humanism Forum, a space for reflection and discussion of how technology impacts people's lives and rights from a business, political and social vantage point, run by ESADE. Juan talked about the perspectives of digital transition and public policies in the future US Administration.

He highlighted a few of the main lines that could shape future’s public policies in technology and digitalization. The challenge is big, he pointed out, as digitization affects both the society and the economy.

Regarding the economic challenges, Juan Verde spoke of digital transformation as a driver for change in the productive axis of the country. According to his point of view, more investment will take place in key areas such as: artificial intelligence, 5G, advanced materials, biotechnology, and sustainable technologies.

Regarding the social dimension of digitalization, the main priority as he pointed out, is to use technology to help us create a better world for all, more connected, more sustainable, and more equal. Technology has to work for everyone, and sharing technological prosperity among all to not accentuate existing differences is what this process should be all about, he said during his intervention. In his own words "the digital revolution has to have more winners than losers, and the focus must be on people - middle and vulnerable classes.”

The new US Administration has new priorities regarding tech public policy, which will likely be Bif Tech influence and artificial intelligence. Some of the policies that we will likely see regarding technological giants will be regulating privacy and anti-monopolistic actions, fake news and disinformation spread, abusive online advertising, and controlling the destabilizing impact that these companies can end up having on society.

He also pointed out a couple of areas where he expects federal laws to change if the majority in the Senate is finally achieved. To name a few, he guesses that there can be a change in the polemic section 230 of the Communications Decency Act", the restoriation of the Net Neutrality Act, or a federal data privacy law (that will look like the EU data protection and online privacy).

Juan Verde also dedicated some time to a key sector of the digital transition and a priority in his tech policy: Artificial intelligence. He advocated for the need for more coherent and avant-garde policies.

“As the world becomes increasingly dependent on artificial intelligence, we need a clear and fair definition of the rules of the game”, said Juan Verde. He hinted it will be good to consider the creation of a federal agency for artificial intelligence. It must obey the principles of human rights, that means that it should become a force for good. But what is going to shape the future of artificial intelligence is the war between China and the US in this sector, to which he anticipates that massive investments from both countries to reach the most state-of-the-art discoveries and innovations will be the main area of contention between both countries.

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