CCIA Applauds New Congressional Focus on Digital Online Trade

BY Heather Greenfield
January 9, 2014

Washington – Today leadership of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at authorizing Trade Promotion Authority for the Administration.  The bill, the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014,” comes at a time when the U.S. is negotiating with trade partners across the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as in Geneva, and signifies a step forward for the trade agenda.

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

“We are encouraged by the groundbreaking recognition of the significance of the Internet and the broader networked economy to international commerce.  This recognition of the increasingly important role of value-adding Internet-based services in the global economy, and the critical role networks play in supporting traditional sectors across the entire economy, is long overdue.  These Internet-enabled services include everything from small online retailers to enterprise cloud providers to supply chain and productivity-boosting services.  Appropriately, the bill establishes new objectives facilitating such trade.

“The bill also devotes welcome attention to new ‘21st-Century’ trade issues, including impediments to cross-border data flows, forced localization of facilities, and related barriers to U.S. goods and services exports.

“It is also noteworthy that the bill acknowledges that intellectual property provisions must be crafted to facilitate legitimate digital trade.  The technology sector’s understanding of the challenges related to intellectual property has changed considerably since Trade Promotion Authority was last enacted in 2002, and U.S. trade policy must pay greater attention to achieving the proper balance in intellectual property law.  In particular, it is essential to ensure that the export of U.S. digital products and services is not inhibited by specious liability risks abroad.

“The bill’s focus on robust consultation and greater public access to information illustrates that it is possible to promote U.S. trade objectives in a more transparent manner, which will help foster public trust.

“We look forward to working with members of Congress as they further develop this crucial legislation.”

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