Issa: Regs 'hampering' tech industry

Foreign companies are surpassing U.S. tech companies because of burdensome regulations, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Monday. 

"It wasn’t that long ago that the nation’s research, innovation, and high tech industries were unequaled; there was no more attractive country than the United States for technology start-up capital," Issa said, according to prepared remarks delivered at a hearing in San Jose, Calif.

"More recently, however, the shine has started to come off the apple, and there seems little doubt that federal policies and regulations have played a large role in hampering growth," he said.

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Issa, a former technology executive who was once chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), said he was concerned that burdensome regulations are hurting the growth of the U.S. technology sector and that foreign countries are surpassing the U.S. in terms of technological prowess.

Issa's statement cites top technology representatives, including former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina, who ran as a Republican Senate candidate in California last year, warning that tech companies are avoiding the U.S. due to the high corporate tax rate and lack of a permanent R&D tax credit.

Issa said a trip to Silicon Valley in December allowed him to hear from tech companies who are concerned about the cost of regulatory compliance. 

He cited Intel chief executive Paul Otellini, who reportedly said that it costs an extra $1 billion per factory to build in the United States compared to overseas. Ninety percent of the cost goes to tax and regulatory compliance. 

Issa also highlighted one of his favorite topics: how technology can improve government transparency. 

"Information technologies already in use throughout the private sector can make it possible for Americans to track federal spending, regulation, and legislation in ways that currently do not exist at the federal level," he said.