Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments with the U.S. Trade Representative tonight, identifying worldwide barriers to digital trade in preparation for the USTR’s annual National Trade Estimate report. The CCIA filing comes as new research demonstrates the rising cost of Internet site- and service-blocking to U.S. exporters.

A recent Brookings Institution study estimated the global loss from Internet blackouts costs $2.4 billion a year. A Deloitte study released today found the one day cost of an Internet shutdown in a high Internet use country to be $23.6 million per 10 million citizens.

The Internet is the single largest category of trade in services, and that has been an increasingly large component of U.S. trade. The U.S. is the largest exporter of trade in services, exporting $688 billion in services in 2014, a 4 percent growth over 2013.

CCIA’s comments offered details on how data localization, Internet censorship and other restrictions on online content, ostensibly for copyright reasons, become challenging trade barriers for innovative U.S. companies.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Matt Schruers:

“The biggest growth opportunity for U.S. Internet companies is in international markets and as more traditional companies also depend on the Internet to reach customers and deliver services, it is imperative that USTR continue its focus on digital trade barriers and how to alleviate them.”

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