The Trump administration is cracking down on drug dealers and manufacturers, threatening to shutter hundreds of small businesses and jail hundreds of people who are involved in the illegal drug trade.
But while the new president and his aides are trying to crack down on drugs, the administration is also going after the tech industry, according to a new report from the libertarian Cato Institute.
The report comes just days after Trump announced a plan to cut back regulations on tech companies, including banning certain companies from sharing personal information with the government and limiting the ability of tech companies to charge for certain services.
“The tech industry has been a very valuable partner to the U.S. government and to American businesses, including our own,” the report states.
“But in order to stay competitive, they need to continue to play by the rules and protect the American people from the risk of abuse by companies that engage in the black market.”
The report, titled “Silicon Valley: The Biggest Threat to American Jobs,” comes on the heels of the administration announcing it was cracking down again on the “shadow market” of illegal drugs, including an effort to shut down several sites that facilitate the trade.
The crackdown will be enforced on “cyber criminals, terrorists, and other illegal activity,” the White House said.
“Silicon valley is where most of the money and the talent goes,” said Cato president Mark Holden.
“They’re the engine that’s driving the economy.”
The administration is now cracking down more on companies that facilitate illegal drugs.
But, the report points out, the government is also targeting the tech sector, saying the tech community is “a key player in the global drug trade and a major facilitator of the illegal drugs trade.”
“The Trump administration has not hesitated to target the most valuable American asset, American jobs,” said Craig Holman, the author of the report and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
“It is time for Congress to stop this reckless policy, to stop rewarding the most dangerous and criminal actors in the drug trade, and to punish them for their role in facilitating illegal drugs,” he added.
“While the administration has been quick to target companies, it has failed to punish the entire tech sector,” Holden said.
The administration has targeted more than 70 companies with the intention of cutting them off from government funding, the Cato report notes.
It also shut down more than 1,000 websites and accused the tech companies of providing “direct financial assistance” to drug dealers.
“These companies should be ashamed of themselves,” Holden told Fox News.
“The fact is, we are the ones that are getting punished, not these tech companies.”
Companies that facilitate drugs are also being targeted in the crackdown, the Trump team announced, saying that the Justice Department will target a network of more than 50 drug dealers involved in trafficking cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and prescription drugs.
The government is targeting the network, which operates from an office in Chicago, and is also asking the Justice and Treasury Departments to take action.
Cato called on Congress to cut off the grants to these companies that allow them to operate.
“Congress should pass the USA Freedom Act, which would provide a new mechanism for Congress and the Executive Branch to sanction companies that violate the law and engage in activities that are criminal,” Holden wrote.
“And Congress should also pass the SAFE Act, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Safety Act, that would impose mandatory minimum penalties for all companies that knowingly facilitate or facilitate the illegal trafficking of controlled substances. “