The administration has characterized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement as “an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement.” It is being negotiated with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru Singapore and Vietnam — with Canada and Mexico as set to join.

CCIA’s View:

CCIA supports the speedy completion of a high-quality “21st century” Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. A 21st-century agreement will contain provisions that permit the smooth functioning of the industry of the 21st century — the Internet. The Internet is visibly revolutionizing the way businesses — including small and medium enterprises — function. Without a smoothly functioning Internet, the negotiated provisions of TPP will not yield the desired gains for TPP citizens.

First, TPP must include balanced intellectual property rules. An intellectual property regime can allow technological progress only if it appropriately balances the competing interests between encouraging investment and enabling information access. Because the international trade regime has generally lacked flexible IP provisionis to promote innovation, it is necessary to modernize the IP provisions of the aging trade framework to be consistent with Internet and high-technology innovation.

Second, TPP should promote the free flow of information online, recognizing that blocking bits at the border is as much as affront to international free trade as blocking physical goods. The ability of U.S. businesses to operate effectively on a global scale depends fundamentally on open information flows. When foreign governments block online information, when businesses are impeded for using the Internet to reach international markets, when secure corporate communications are not assured, the collateral damage is done to U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.

Most Recent Statements&Findings:

The Internet and the Rising Tide

The data on how successful European Internet firms are often surprises people. Between 2000 and 2013 there were 30 technology startups in Europe that achieved a valuation of more than 1 billion USD; in the United States there were 39. Also, there are 29 countries in the world that have at least 1 Internet company…

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Goethe’s Ghost: A Few German Publishers Claim Online Services Have No Choice But to Show a Short Extract… And Pay For It

Can you infringe someone’s right by not infringing it? According to some German press publishers, this is precisely the case after Google’s announcement that it will no longer display snippets and thumbnails from content owned by publishers who are represented by VG Media, a collecting society. This follows the introduction of the Leistungsschutzrecht by the…

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CCIA Joins Industry and Civil Society Groups In Joint Recommendations for the EU’s ITU Participation

Brussels – Since the Internet is such a critical platform for economic opportunity and social development, the EU should be a strong advocate for Internet governance that does not involve new governmental controls at the upcoming ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan in October. Industry groups including the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) issued a statement today…

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Online Retailers Could Be Hobbled in Lame Duck

In July, we warned against the short-sighted folly of conflating the issues of the Internet access tax moratorium and online sales tax collection, characterizing the then newly introduced Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (S. 2609) as an exercise in legislative hostage taking. Unfortunately last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressed (in both…

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