CCIA Offers USTR Ways To Reduce Digital Trade Barriers In NAFTA Renegotiation

BY Heather Greenfield
June 13, 2017

Washington — Digital trade is expected to be a focus as the U.S. modernizes the more than 20 year old NAFTA. The U.S. is now the largest global exporter of trade in services, and the internet is the biggest component of services exports. The Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted comments to USTR ahead of the midnight deadline on removing digital trade barriers. CCIA encouraged USTR to prevent restrictions on competition, ensure the free flow of data and promote clear online liability and balanced intellectual property rules, including fair use protections for digital technology exports.

In its comments, CCIA cited two recent studies it commissioned. One study showed the economic benefit of rich interaction applications (RIAs) — applications that facilitate rich interaction such as, photo/video sharing, location sharing, payment and chat among individuals, groups and enterprises. The study found that for every 10 percent increase in worldwide usage of RIAs, global GDP increased by an average of 5.6 trillion.

Another study illustrated the economic growth of industries that depend on exceptions to copyright law like fair use. The fair use study by Capital Trade that CCIA commissioned found that in 2014 fair use industries accounted for 16 percent of the U.S. economy, employed 1 in 8 workers and contributed $2.8 trillion to the GDP.

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

“For any country to have a thriving digital economy, it’s important to have advanced telecommunications services, the free flow of data and competition. The recommendations we are offering to USTR would protect the foundation policies vital to the U.S. tech industry and promote U.S. technology exports to Canada and Mexico, while also encouraging innovation in those countries. Part of the reason the U.S. is the leader in internet services is there are fewer unnecessarily burdensome regulations on internet services and clear limits to the liability risks our companies face for what users do online. Another advantage has been that the U.S. respects limitations on copyright like fair use that enhance the transfer of knowledge and are key to numerous industries from universities to the media to the tech sector.”

“It will be critical to encourage the free flow of data and resist demands for data localization and weakened encryption. It will also be important in modernizing NAFTA for the digital era to make a clear distinction between information services and telecommunications services so that current internet applications and services can thrive and next generation ones can start up.”

Related Articles

CCIA Calls For Strong U.S. Response as Result of Section 301 Investigations into Digital Tax

Jan 14, 2021

Washington — The U.S. Trade Representative has released its reports in the Section 301 investigations into the digital services taxes (DSTs) of the United Kingdom, Spain, and Austria. USTR concluded that these taxes were discriminatory against U.S. tech firms, and are inconsistent with prevailing principles of international taxation, and burden U.S. commerce. This follows last…

CCIA: Anticipated U.S. Response To French Digital Taxes On U.S. Companies is Crucial

Jan 5, 2021

Washington — In response to French digital taxes aimed at U.S. companies, the U.S. Trade Representative is expected to respond tomorrow with tariffs on $1.3 billion on French products. USTR concluded in its Section 301 investigation that the French tax discriminated against US firms. USTR announced these tariffs last summer, but suspended the collection on…

CCIA Weighs In On European Commission Request For Input On Trade Strategy

Nov 16, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments with the European Commission as it crafts a trade strategy for the digital age. The EC consultancy is an opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of Europe’s trade policies. CCIA encouraged the EU “to pursue an ambitious trade agenda that includes the strengthening of the…