Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments with the Office of the United State Trade Representative Wednesday evening, asking that the annual trade barriers report reflect some of the biggest obstacles to digital trade. CCIA noted the large and growing importance of the Internet and Internet-enabled trade to the U.S. and global economy and asks that U.S. trade and trade enforcement policy be modernized accordingly.

In its comments, CCIA identifies key barriers including infrastructure localization mandates, the filtering and blocking of Internet content, poorly tailored intellectual property laws, and onerous intermediary liability regimes.

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

“Technology is constantly updating with newer products and services, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to inform the USTR on digital trade barriers that threaten the growth of innovative U.S. companies and the greater U.S. economy generally. Trade policy naturally lags behind innovation, but as the Internet economy becomes an increasing part of the U.S. economy, it’s critical to develop a 21st century version of noted trade barriers in the USTR’s National Trade Estimate (NTE) to better develop strategy, policy and language to reduce those barriers.

“The United States is an information economy, and U.S. companies are leading vendors of information products and services. When foreign governments try to control, censor and limit the Internet, its content or services, it undermines the interests of these companies as they expand to overseas markets. These are not only policies our diplomats need to address, but where protectionism is found, these are policies our trade officials should tackle.

“Curbing digital trade barriers will help companies in other industries too since Internet platforms and services empower small- and medium-sized businesses to participate in international trade like never before.

“The U.S. government and all nations seeking to harness the benefits of the Internet and digital economy need to make the removal of such barriers top priorities in their trade and other diplomatic negotiations.”

 

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