Keith Krach on Weaponizing Trust
“The business veteran and former State Department official talks about pushing back against Huawei; ‘tech statecraft’; and fighting back when the market is no longer free.”
Keith Krach was a business veteran but a novice togovernment when he joined the Trump administration in June 2019 asunder secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment.At age 26, he was named a vice president of General Motors, where hehelped set up GM’s robotics venture. Later he co-founded Ariba Inc., apioneer of business-to-business e-commerce, and went on to become chiefexecutive of DocuSign Inc., which digitized document signing. Ingovernment, Krach was an advocate for what he calls “tech statecraft,” whichin practice meant using sanctions, subsidies, and alliances to try to keep theU.S. ahead of China technologically. He also was the highest-ranking StateDepartment offi cial in years to visit Taiwan – a trip that strengthened U.S.ties to Taiwan and prompted Beijing to send jets to cross the median linebetween the island and the mainland. After leaving government, he startedthe Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University to try to boostU.S. technology eff orts internationally.