Tech industry insiders are warning that a showdown between the Trump administration and President-elect Donald Trump’s administration over the FBI’s role in investigating potential Russian interference in the 2016 election could spell the end of a tech revolution.
“I think it’s going to be very, very damaging for the American tech ecosystem, the American economy,” said Sam Altman, founder of the popular accelerator incubator Y Combinator.
“We’re seeing a massive amount of innovation, we’re seeing the beginning of a really strong new economy, we’ve got an economy that’s in great shape right now.”
Altman said he’s worried that tech giants like Google and Facebook, which have billions of dollars in cash stashed away in Switzerland and other offshore tax havens, may not be able to find the cash to keep the economy growing in the long run.
Altman and others who are worried about the Trump presidency are also concerned that the new administration will cut federal programs that help people with disabilities and other marginalized communities get the best and most affordable tech solutions.
“The idea that the president-elect is going to pick a company that has a lot of investments in the tech space and then have them lose them because of political reasons, I think that’s a pretty dangerous thing,” Altman told POLITICO.
“It will hurt the tech ecosystem in terms of innovation and in terms the future of the economy.”
The Trump administration has threatened to cut funding to the tech industry over a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department that sought to block a ban on Chinese-made devices in the U.S. The case was filed on behalf of tech firms that make smart TVs, cell phones and other gadgets.
A federal judge ruled last week that the Trump Administration lacked the legal authority to block the ban.
The Trump Administration has said that the DOJ filed the lawsuit to try to get companies like Apple and Samsung to comply with an international court order that bars China from restricting access to certain products and technology.
The Justice Department said that it will appeal the ruling.
The court ruling did not require Apple or Samsung to change the way they make their products or services, but it did say that the companies have to comply if they want to keep their profits flowing into the U