Washington — U.S. Internet and technology services are facing rising trade barriers around the world this part year from long-standing allies. The Computer & Communications Industry Association offered USTR examples of these new pressing digital trade barriers as part of trade officials’ annual request for comments. USTR will issue its National Trade Estimates (NTE) report Spring 2020 that identifies various countries’ regulations and other actions 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 trade agreements.  

Key barriers to trade identified in CCIA’s comments for the 2020 report include restrictions on cross-border data flows and data and infrastructure localization mandates, government-imposed restrictions on Internet content and related access barriers, digital taxation, market-based platform regulation, imbalanced copyright laws and “link taxes”, extraterritorial regulations and judgments, customs duties on electronic transmissions, and backdoor access to secure technologies.

CCIA has advocated on removing trade barriers for the tech industry since 1972. A summary of our NTE filing can be found here. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate USTR’s vigilance as long-standing allies enact new trade barriers like online content regulations and new digital tax measures that depart from global norms. As countries step up regulatory scrutiny on the digital economy, trade will play an important role in ensuring that national regulations are consistent with international obligations and do not discriminate against U.S. digital firms. The NTE Report is a crucial tool to identify where these conflicts may exist.” 

For media inquiries, please contact: Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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