CCIA Hails TPA Provisions on Digital Trade; Applauds Congressional Committees’ Commitment to Balanced Copyright in Trade Promotion Reports

BY Heather Greenfield
May 14, 2015

Washington — As the Senate moves to consider Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, the Finance Committee released a report today, explaining the legislation which gives the President authority to negotiate trade deals without additional tweaks from Congress.  In addition to acknowledging the importance of digital commerce, today’s Senate Report and the House of Representatives’ TPA Report both clarify that the promotion of digital trade requires the promotion of balanced copyright law, and ensuring adequate liability limitations for online intermediaries.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), now under negotiation, contains similar language aimed at promoting balanced copyright abroad and limiting intermediary liability.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has long supported legislation giving the president Trade Promotion Authority and commends the Committees for recognizing the importance of balanced copyright as part of our trade agenda for the first time.

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

“We have long championed new trade rules for digital commerce and cross-border data flows.  Internet service exports help drive the U.S. economy, facilitating commerce across new and traditional industries.  Today’s actions lay the foundation for a new era of online international trade.

“The goals that TPA sets forth for digital trade are not merely desirable, but essential to the growth of Internet and technology service exports.  Trade agreements that achieve these objectives will promote digital commerce and should receive the support of the Internet sector.

“We appreciate the Committees’ clarification that the promotion of digital trade requires balanced copyright and reasonable online liability limitations.  Today’s reports acknowledge for the first time that this is an essential element to encouraging international Internet commerce.  This is a welcome step toward fostering the export of Internet services, an industry in which the United States leads the world.

“As digital trade takes a rising role in U.S. exports and the Internet becomes an increasingly crucial tool for traditional businesses, trade agreement language such as balanced copyright provisions will be crucial — not just to the digital economy but the growth of our overall economy.”

The Senate Report is available at: http://www.finance.senate.gov/legislation/download/?id=9fb52a25-e004-4542-afdd-dce15f72a2dd

The House Report is available at: https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt100/CRPT-114hrpt100-pt1.pdf

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