US Chamber of Commerce president Donohue warns against growing backlash against tech

Key Points
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's CEO warns about a growing backlash against technology.
  • Thomas Donohue also warns about excessive regulation in general.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue.
Ramon Espinosa | AP

Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned on Wednesday about a growing global hostility to technology — U.S. tech in particular — saying that it could severely damage the U.S. economy, its companies and consumers.

In the annual "State of American Business" speech, Donohue said technology "is not a single, all-powerful industry. It is now a part of every industry." In the U.S., technology must be "embraced" as a growth-driver of the economy, and if it's used "smartly and carefully," everyone will benefit, he said.

"We must be careful that this 'techlash' doesn't result in broad regulatory overreach that stifles innovation and stops positive advancements in their tracks," he said.

Donohue also warned about excessive regulation in general, saying that it "stifles innovation and stops positive advancements in their tracks."

U.S. tech has suffered many black eyes over the last year, including revelations about the toxic work culture of Uber and questions about how Russian manipulation of Facebook may have altered the outcome of the 2016 election. There's also been a growing body of research showing that heavy use of social media may be bad for mental health.

Donahue also said that U.S. education and infrastructure need to be updated to meet the needs of the 21st century economy.