By: Laura Levin-Dando
On Tuesday, May 22, the Senate introduced a bipartisan bill, Startup Act 2.0. This bill, introduced by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.), aims to promote the growth of new businesses in the United States, along the same lines as the recent JOBS Act, which we recently blogged about here. The bill offers tax breaks and tax credits that favor startup businesses, but a notable aspect of the Startup Act 2.0 is a focus on keeping international talent in the United States, hopefully securing the U.S. a leading role in fostering entrepreneurial and innovative talent. Instead of returning American-educated, foreign-born individuals to their home countries upon completing their respective degrees, the bill aims to preserve a critical mass of talented innovators who will contribute to the American economy and job market.
New STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) visas would allow those with U.S. master’s degrees and Ph.D’s in those fields to stay in the country after graduation, and entrepreneur’s visas would allow legal immigrants to remain in the United States in order to execute their startup businesses in the country. Additionally, the bill would eliminate per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas. The mission is clear: in order to compete with the startup job markets in countries like India and China, the United States must commit to ensuring that the jobs, and therefore the entrepreneurs and other talented minds, maintain a significant presence in the U.S.
Tax breaks and subsidies are certainly helpful in giving the U.S. a competitive edge with regard to advancing the viability of startup businesses. However, without talented individuals in the country, the U.S. cannot maintain the numbers we need to create a significant environment of support for these businesses. The Startup Act 2.0 intends to bridge that gap by turning the Unites States into a hub of creativity and entrepreneurship, fostering the growth of domestic businesses as well as the creation of jobs.