Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association offered USTR examples of digital trade barriers as part of trade officials’ annual request for comments. USTR will issue its National Trade Estimates (NTE) report in the Spring identifying regulations around the world that pose barriers to trade. In recent years, USTR has increased its commitment to monitor and fight digital trade barriers, criticizing policies that will deter U.S. Internet and technology exports and committing to negotiate strong digital trade chapters.  

In its filing to USTR, CCIA identified the following key barriers to digital trade: data and infrastructure localization mandates, filtering and blocking measures, legal liability for online intermediaries, imbalanced copyright and link taxes, mandated backdoor access to encrypted technologies, and digital services taxes.  Immediately pressing concerns for this year’s report include the the EU’s proposed digital services tax and developments regarding the EU’s Copyright Directive.

CCIA has advocated on removing trade barriers for the tech industry since 1972. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“At a time when the internet represents the biggest component of the growing trade in services sector, it will be crucial for diplomats and trade negotiators to stand up for the tech sector. Countries are increasingly adopting protectionist measures aimed at anything from intellectual property protection to security, creating multiple barriers to trade.  Identification and swift removal of these barriers stands to benefit not just the US tech sector but US and foreign exporters that increasingly depend on the internet to reach customers.”

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