Washington — Today, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator John Thune, R- S.D., introduced the Digital Trade Act.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association testified before the International Trade Commission earlier this year, saying digital trade is critical because the Internet is responsible for 21 percent of the GDP growth in mature economies over the past 5 years, with 75 percent of the benefits captured by companies in more traditional industries.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“For years, our international trade priorities have failed to keep pace with the quickly evolving U.S. economy. In directing our nation’s trade negotiators to pay more attention to the needs of the Internet economy, the Digital Trade Act seeks to remedy this problem.  We applaud Senators Wyden and Thune for introducing this important legislation.

“In directing our trade negotiators to remove barriers to the free flow of information across borders, to reject mandates on location of IT infrastructure, and to ensure that U.S. Internet platforms are not subject to unfair or discriminatory liability exposure overseas, Senators Wyden and Thune have identified some of the main impediments to digital trade.  These are the non-tariff trade barriers of the 21st century.

“As the recent U.S. International Trade Commission report on digital trade illustrated, Internet-enabled commerce is uniquely important to the American economy and is expanding at a rapid pace.  Future U.S. competitiveness will depend upon our trade negotiators updating their priorities to reflect this reality.  CCIA applauds Senators Wyden and Thune for their leadership in this important area.

“For over a decade, CCIA has called on trade negotiators and policymakers to recognize the importance of the Internet to international trade and we look forward to working with Senators Wyden and Thune on this important issue.”

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For further reading, see Ed Black’s testimony before the International Trade Commission on digital trade and the U.S. economy.

Initial testimony: http://www.ccianet.org/wp-content/uploads/library/CCIA%20ITC%20Digital%20Trade%20Pre-Hearing%20Brief%20Final.pdf

Reply comments: http://www.ccianet.org/wp-content/uploads/library/CCIA%20Digital%20Trade%20Follow-up%20Letter.pdf

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