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U.S. Chamber To Tackle Immigration, Patent Reform In New Silicon Valley Office

Publication Date: 
April 17, 2014
Daily Journal
Dominic Fracassa

Rock Center Fellow Vivek Wadhwa comments on the possible effects of a new location of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce near Silicon Valley for The Daily Journal.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the nation's most powerful lobbying groups, will soon be looking to throw its weight behind legal reforms and policy initiatives dear to Silicon Valley business interests. But the organization may have to work to overcome its previously rocky relationship with the tech community.

Attorneys and other stakeholders have so far given a warm reception to news that the chamber plans to plant its first flag outside of Washington, D.C. here. The organization has yet to decide precisely when and where its new outpost - which will be called the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation - will officially open, but David Chavern, who is stepping down as the chamber's chief operating officer to lead the effort, says it's keen to establish a closer connection with one of the most vibrant corners of the corporate world.


"Technology has become part of mainstream America, which means that government is getting involved in every aspect of the tech industry now," said Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford Law School's Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

The chamber, he said, "can provide a service by connecting Silicon Valley with D.C."


Wadhwa is optimistic about the resources and lobbying expertise the chamber can bring to the valley, especially on the issue of immigration, given the area's heavy reliance on international talent.

"Immigration is the lifeblood of Silicon Valley," Wadhwa said. "[Chavern] is going to be finely tuned to those issues as the chamber starts meeting with tech executives and learning about the key issues."