USTR Highlights Digital Trade Barriers Including Digital Taxes and Data Localization

BY Heather Greenfield
April 1, 2019

Washington — The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual report Friday documenting prominent trade barriers around the world.

USTR identifies a number of key barriers for Internet firms exporting services around the world that the Computer & Communications Industry Association highlighted in its own comments submitted last fall. These include a rise in data and infrastructure localization mandates, filtering and blocking measures, and link taxes.

CCIA also welcomes the increased scrutiny by USTR on the rising number of unilateral digital taxes targeted at U.S. tech firms, such as those pursued by France and the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.

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

“CCIA welcomes USTR’s continued 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.  As Europe and other countries enact policies aimed at US tech companies, it is good to see USTR has identified these trade barriers and will be monitoring them. This is the first step to fight these barriers, and to build better language into new trade agreements.”

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