Trump vs. Biden: Comparing the Candidates’ Positions on Technology and Innovation

The report begins with an overview of each candidate’s general philosophy on technology, innovation, and trade policy, and then compares the candidates’ policy positions across 10 specific issue areas:

  • Innovation and Research and Development (R&D)
  • Internet and Digital Economy
  • Broadband and Telecommunications
  • Education and Skills
  • Taxes
  • Regulation
  • Trade
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Clean Energy Innovation

The candidates’ positions on broadband:

President Donald Trump: Promises to build “the World’s Greatest Infrastructure System.” Presumably, this would include improvements of some kind to the nation’s broadband infrastructure. In 2019, the Trump FCC revamped the existing rural broadband subsidy program into the “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.” The first phase, which will begin in October, aims to provide broadband to over six million unserved homes and businesses. In 2018, the administration proposed an infrastructure package that aimed to spur a total of $1.5 trillion of investment, and incent state, local, and private investment through a combination of tax incentives and $200 billion in federal spending, including state-directed grants that could be spent on broadband or other infrastructure projects. The proposal did not advance in Congress.

Former-Vice President Joe Biden: Promises “universal broadband access” to “expand broadband access to every American.” The campaign has committed to invest $20 billion in rural broadband as part of a larger infrastructure package. Plans to triple US Department of Agriculture rural broadband grants and partner with municipal utilities to increase rural broadband coverage.…