Washington – The Senate voted to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Saturday night; an important step both giving U.S. trade negotiators Congressional guidance on U.S. trade priorities and clearing the way to an up-or-down vote on future trade deals.  The TPA legislation now must clear the House of Representatives.  Securing a clean up-or-down vote on future trade deals is a critical step in enabling U.S. trade negotiators to finish negotiations. With TPA, our trading partners will have assurances that Congress will not alter the final trade deals, allowing the final compromises to be struck.

The following statement may be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:

“As a decades-long leader in advancing international trade, CCIA applauds the Senate’s passage of TPA.  If the House follows suit, USTR will have a clear path to finishing negotiations around critically important 21st trade deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe.  As the first major trade pacts of the 21st century for the U.S., it is imperative that trade negotiators prioritize areas of importance to a growing sector — the Internet economy.

“Today’s legislation provides U.S. trade negotiators the tools to promote digital commerce in the 21st century.  TPA contemplates future trade agreement language that will break down barriers to Internet commerce, providing new protections for the cross-border provision of online services.  The Senate makes clear that it expects trade negotiators to promote balanced intellectual property and strong intermediary liability limitations in future agreements.  It also directs negotiators to continue to expand market access for U.S. tech products.

“It is now incumbent on U.S. officials to forge agreements aimed at opening markets to some of the United States’ fastest growing industries, including the high-tech and Internet sectors.”

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