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While billionaire Peter Thiel stands with Donald Trump, a long list of the tech elite are waving "I'm with Her" signs.
Prominent Hillblazers, the Clinton campaign's moniker for those who have donated or raised $100,000 for the Democratic nominee, include Apple (AAPL) boss Tim Cook, Salesforce.com (CRM) founder Marc Benioff and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman, who has called Donald Trump "a dishonest demagogue." The group also includes prominent current and former Facebook (FB) staff, such as co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, COO Sheryl Sandberg and ex-PR chief Brandee Barker, as well as Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom and Alphabet (GOOGL) CFO Ruth Porat.
On one of the big financial policy issues for many of the Silicon Valley Hillblazers, however -- how and when to repatriate the industry's offshore cash -- Clinton is less generous than Trump, and her election could hurt sector stock prices.
The tech sector has more offshore cash than any others. Apple, Microsoft (MSFT) , Alphabet, Cisco (CSCO) and Oracle (ORCL) collectively have more than half a trillion dollars overseas, representing 86% of their total cash, according to Moody's. The overseas stash for all of corporate America is about $1.3 trillion, the ratings agency estimates.
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Trump has proposed lowering corporate taxes and allowing companies to repatriate cash at the low tax rate of 10%. Clinton has criticized companies that shield profits overseas and held steady to existing tax policy.
"Clinton has talked about an exit tax for companies looking to move their domicile outside of the U.S. to capture tax breaks," Morningstar analyst Rodney Nelson said. "I don't know that her plan is as clear cut or as drastic that would have as much as a direct impact as maybe a Trump tax cut."
Thus far, low interest rates have mooted the effect of having cash trapped overseas.
Microsoft, for example, has about $130 billion in cash, mostly offshore.
"They've been able to do pretty much whatever they want from an acquisition perspective because this borrowing window has been so wide open for such a long time," Nelson said. Microsoft was able to finance its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn at "pretty attractive rates," the analyst noted.
"You're going to see those lobbying for those large companies with large cash balances overseas grow louder if we do see interest rates start to creep up over the next 12 to 18 months," Nelson said.
On another important issue for the tech sector -- immigration and particularly that of highly trained tech workers -- Clinton's plans are seen as positive for equity prices. She has said the government should "staple a green card" to Masters Degrees and PhDs in science, technology, engineering and math.
"You have a lot of developer talent that is coming from overseas markets," Nelson said. "Salesforce has talked a lot about a general shortage worldwide that makes it difficult to find data scientists to help them build some of the artificial intelligence capabilities they have pursued over the last couple of years."
Clinton also supports net neutrality, which plays well to the tech companies that want an open Internet. Trump, meanwhile, has derided net neutrality as a "Fairness Doctrine" that will "target conservative media."When it comes to trade, Clinton has opposed agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Obama and many technology groups support. The TPP involves a dozen nations in the Pacific Rim, although not China. Much of the production chain for Apple's iPhones and other devices is centered in Asia, and tariff wars or other complications to cross-border business would ripple through the tech sector. Trump has an even tougher position, however, vowing to rip up trade agreements and negotiate more aggressively with China.
Some of Silicon Valley's support for Clinton is likely based on principle rather than tech-specific policy, and on an aversion to Trump.
Facebook co-founder Moskovitz pledged $20 million to support Clinton and aligned political groups. "Will we be driven by fear, towards tribalism, emphasizing the things that divide us?" Moskowitz asked. "Will we focus on how to advantage those most similar to us while building barriers to separate us from the rest of the world?"
Another prominent Clinton supporter, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, has been a vehement critic of Trump and offered to donate $5 million to veterans if the Republican nominee released his tax forms.