Jonathan Friebert: Public Policy and the Future of Retail — A Starter’s Guide (Ep. 162)

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Jonathan Friebert: Public Policy and the Future of Retail: A Starter’s Guide (Ep. 162)

Jonathan Friebert, U.S. Head of Public Policy of China’s largest retailer, JD.com, joined us to discuss the public policies that are most crucial to the future of retail.

Bio

Jonathan Friebert (@friebs) is the head of U.S. Government Relations for JD.com–China’s largest retailer. He has more than 20 years of Fortune 50, political, non-profit and governmental experience.

Previously, he was at Microsoft where he helped partners, entrepreneurs, customers and consumers advocate for positive technology public policies through overseeing Microsoft’s Voices for Innovation (VFI) initiative: a community of more than 100,000 technology leaders in the U.S. who engage with government leaders. Through VFI, he spearheaded traditional and digital grassroots on issues such as competition policy, STEM funding, high-skilled immigration reform, online privacy, software piracy, cloud computing regulations, security, IP protection and government procurement mandates.

Before Microsoft, he was with the PepsiCo government affairs team where he managed several Midwest states as well as federal issues impacting the Gatorade and Quaker Oats brands. This includes bottle deposit bills, food labeling, school breakfast and lunch funding, R&D tax credits and soft drink taxes. Jonathan led an effort on a significant legislative threat to Gatorade business around banning soft drinks in schools. He implemented a successful campaign to protect Gatorade in multiple states.

Jonathan also served in the Clinton Administration as a political appointee in the Immediate Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Resources

JD.com

The JD.com Story: An E-commerce Phenomenon by Zhigang Li

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas Friedman

News Roundup

Tech leads Dow drop of 600 points

Market uncertainty in the tech sector led to a 600 point drop across the Dow in Monday’s trading. Apple’s 5% decline led to a selloff across oil, manufacturing, entertainment and beyond, as investors moved some of their assets to the more stable real estate market—the only sector that rose MMnday at .2%.

Amazon will spilt their second headquarters between New York City and Crystal City in Arlington, VA

Amazon is expected to announce that it will spit its second headquarters between Northern Virginia and Long Island City in Queens, according to several media outlets, including NPR and the New York Times. The cities beat out 238 proposals across the country.

Boeing failed to train pilots on dangerous flight control feature that led to crash in Indonesia

Safety experts and midlevel Federal Aviation Administration investigators have  found that Boeing never trained pilots on a dangerous flight control feature that can unexpectedly push down the nose of a Boeing 737. That’s the model that crashed in in Indonesia last month, killing all 189 people on board. The New York Times notes that the plane crashed into the ocean at 400 miles per hour within seconds—a force so strong that it reduced some of the plane’s metal fittings to powder.  The safety feature was apparently intended to prevent the plane from stalling if the nose goes up too high. But it can force the plane down unexpectedly, which can cause pilots to lose control, according to report.

FBI and Homeland: No significant foreign influence on midterms

Both the FBI and Department of Homeland security concluded that there were no significant efforts by foreign agents to breach the U.S. midterm elections. At a press briefing, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said that the main concern was disinformation on social media, but that there was no evidence of breaches into election machines.

Google, Facebook, eBay, and Airbnb end forced arbitration in employment agreements

Following Google’s lead, Facebook, eBay and Airbnb have all removed forced arbitration provisions from their employment policies. The companies moved to end forced arbitration after thousands of Google employees worldwide staged a protest a couple of weeks ago, in protest of the $90 million Google paid Android creator Andy Rubin when he left the company amidst sexual harassment allegations that a Google investigation had found credible.

DEA and ICE are hiding surveillance equipment in streetlights

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have begun to hide surveillance equipment within streetlights, according to a Quartz analysis of federal contracting documents. The DEA apparently paid a company called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments out of Houston some $22,000 since June for “video recording and reproducing equipment”. ICE paid about $28,000 to the same company since then as well.

Motel 6 corporate to pay $7.6 million settlement after a franchise owner faxed guests’ names to ICE

Finally, The Motel 6 hotel chain will pay a $7.6 million settlement to class action litigants after a Motel 6 franchise owner in Warwick, Rhode Island routinely faxed the names of Hispanic guests to the local police department. Another location in Arizona sent guest names directly to ICE. Motel 6 the corporation has denied wrongdoing.