a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Trade, Commerce, Manufacturing, Immigration, & Cuba — with Penny Pritzker

Penny Pritzker and Ted Ullyot

Posted May 27, 2016

“We really want Apple here… Would you please call Tim Cook?”

That’s just one of the things Penny Pritzker, the 38th Secretary of Commerce has heard as she and the U.S. Department of Commerce engage in “commercial diplomacy” around the world. Their job is to help overcome trade barriers, represent the interests of entrepreneurs and drive administrative policy change as it relates to technology, and be on the frontline of helping small and medium-sized businesses in markets all around the world — from Indonesia to Europe to Cuba.

So what else have they found about how other countries perceive U.S. tech companies? Especially as they wrangle with issues such as immigration (and not just for high-education visas); E.U. Safe Harbor (which is more difficult for smaller companies) and its update, the transatlantic Privacy Shield agreement; and finally, the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational trade agreement (for which some have expressed intellectual property concerns)?

And then… since the previous policy of isolation didn’t work, how is the U.S. government’s policy of engagement with Cuba working out so far? Priztker shares perspectives on all this and more in this episode — including views on focusing on advanced manufacturing; gathering data from weather sensors and census surveys; and counting the gig economy in GDP — with a16z’s head of policy and regulatory affairs, Ted Ullyot. The conversation took place at Andreessen Horowitz’ inaugural Silicon Valley comes to Washington, D.C. tech and policy event in April 2016.

photo credit: Sharon Chang