As the looming specter of a Donald Trump presidency continues to terrify minority groups throughout the United States, one industry is greeting the new administration with open arms.
Speaking at a physical surveillance trade show on Wednesday, two representatives from the Security Industry Association (SIA) – which lobbies the government on behalf of surveillance tech manufacturers – laid out the myriad ways Trump could be great news for their members’ bottom line. Overall, the near-certainty that Trump will increase spending on defense border security means it’s a great time to be in the surveillance world.
Jake Parker, the director of government relations at SIA, and Joe Hoellerer, manager of government relations at SIA, spoke at a side event during ISC East, the largest physical surveillance trade conference in the northeast. SIA represents about 700 different companies, and although Trump hadn’t announced any cabinet appointments yet, Parker addressed some of the names that had been floated.
“Congressman [Michael] McCaul is on the shortlist for DHS Secretary. He’s someone who has been very active, very supportive of our industry, so that would definitely be great if that happened.” Parker said.
McCaul is current the chairperson of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and should he get the nod to head DHS, he will almost certainly be criticized by human rights groups for his stance on militarizing the southern border and other civil liberties issues.
Parker also discussed Senator Jeff Sessions, who Trump later picked for Attorney General, noting that Sessions “spoke at the [SIA] government summit this last year.” In a press release announcing that Sessions would address the summit, SIA CEO Don Erickson offered the below statement:
I can think of no lawmaker more involved in issues of paramount importance to the security industry today, and I anticipate the senator will have thought-provoking insights to share with conferees at the SIA Government Summit.