CEA chief: Focus on innovation shows Obama finally backing business

The book’s focus is on four areas Shapiro called crucial to the future of American innovation: reducing the deficit, expanding free trade agreements, reforming the immigration process to allow the world’s best and brightest into the United States and ensuring spectrum is allocated in the most effective manner.

Despite the divided Congress, Shapiro is optimistic about Congress’ ability to get things passed this year that will help the tech sector.

“I don’t think either party wants to be viewed as obstructionist,” Shapiro said. “No one wants a standoff to hurt the country.”

The issue of allowing foreign graduate students earning degrees in math and science at American universities is one area where Shapiro believes there is bipartisan agreement. He said the real issue is whether change will come as a standalone measure or as part of a larger, comprehensive immigration reform package.

Other barriers to innovation Shapiro identified were the overly litigious environment for businesses in the United States, a corporate tax rate higher than competing nations' and a tax system that encourages companies to park money overseas instead of investing it at home.