January marks High-Tech Month, a time to reflect on the great technological innovations that have shaped our society and connected people across the globe. Innovation has had a tremendous impact on America’s economy and enhanced freedom of expression and our national security – strengthening America’s ability to protect its citizens and defend its allies.

Technological innovation has contributed to the growth and development of new sectors and created jobs. In fact, research from the Internet Association found that the internet sector created six million jobs in 2018, while generating more than $2 trillion in GDP.

And technology has played an increasingly prominent role in the lives of Americans, particularly as our nation deals with the COVID-19 public health crisis. The tools we have today are keeping us connected in the age of social distancing. Thanks to modern technology, our friends, family and colleagues are merely a click away.

As policymakers shift their focus to America’s technological edge, it’s vital they consider the indispensable role technological innovation has played in our society and will continue to play in the years to come.

While the United States has traditionally been regarded as a leader in technological innovation, more than 80 percent of surveyed voters feel that “it is dangerous for the U.S. to fall behind countries like China, Russia, and Iran when it comes to technology.” And nearly 75 percent of surveyed voters are hopeful the next president will protect U.S. tech companies, while nearly 80 percent of voters believe “we must do more to make sure American companies remain competitive.”

Another survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the American Edge Project (AEP) found that more than 80 percent of surveyed voters are concerned about the survival of small businesses, while 88 percent are hopeful that the incoming administration will prioritize policies that keep domestic technology companies competitive at home and abroad.

Although we have become accustomed to utilizing technology in nearly every aspect of our lives, we must not take it for granted. As our nation wrestles with the public health crisis, our political leaders must consider the role technology and innovation have played in shaping our economy and society, and how our policies and regulations preserve America’s technological edge.