U.S. Government Shutdown Takes Its Toll on CES 2019
In a statement to attendees on Saturday, the Consumer Technology Association confirmed that its annual summit of the industry will face some effects of the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, which is entering its third week. Because of the shutdown, a number of government officials who were scheduled to speak and be involved with different panel discussions at CES 2019 have informed the association that they’ve had to cancel their trips.
“As a result, some of our scheduled CES 2019 programming and speakers will change,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in the statement. “We urge attendees who planned to hear U.S. federal government speakers to check the sessions on the website to ensure those individuals are still speaking.”
According to multiple sources, CTA has confirmed that at least 10 government officials have backed out of the show as a direct result of the shutdown. Among them, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai—who also backed out of last year’s show after rumored death threats in the shadow of his rather unpopular ruling to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules—the FTC’s Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, and members of the EPA, the FDA, FEMA, and Homeland Security.
Staff at those agencies have been furloughed—essentially meaning they’re on unpaid leave—as the government remains shut down, so the cancellations, while a disappointment, are far from unexpected.
CTA said that attendees should continue to check the CES 2019 speaker page for the latest info. The page will be updated regularly, the association said.