Because of a continuing US shutdown, many speakers will likely back out of the biggest tech show in the world merely a few days prior to its start. The Consumer Electronics Show will kick off on Sunday in LA and will expectedly bring together almost 200,000 tech leaders and enthusiasts. The annual CES may face brunt of US shutdown, warned Gary Shapiro on Saturday.
CTA spokeswoman Sarah Brown informed that 10 speakers have backed out already and there are no plans of replacement yet. These speakers belong to Federal Communications Commission, Homeland Security Department, Federal Trade Commission and other agencies. Shapiro stated that CES 2019 will likely go through further cancellations and urged attendees to check sessions on website to make sure that the speakers they want to hear are still speaking. Changes, if any, will be made and regularly updated speaker lineup will be available.
The partial shutdown that started on December 22, may continue for months or even a year. It began following disagreement in parliament regarding Trump’s plan to spend $5bn for work on US-Mexico border wall. The shutdown, which did not end even when Democrats won control over House of Representatives, is affecting federal workers, many of whom are working unpaid and many are slowing down their work pace. Among the ones who canceled their CES appearance is Ajit Pai, FCC chairman, who was scheduled for an interview with Shapiro. Almost all of FCC employees are on leave without pay and will be so until and unless the government shutdown comes to an end. Five FCC commissioners including Pai are however working with restricted travel because of limited funding. Pai had canceled his CES appearance last year as well due to alleged threats to his life.
CES 2019 cancellations include those done by Arun Verdury and Andre Hentz of DHS, Rebecca Slaughter and Rohit Chopra of FTC, Bakul Patel of FDA, Ajit Pai and Brendan Car of FCC, Barnes Johnson and Brandon Bray of EPA and Daniel Kaniewski of FEMA.