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:

Congress Offers SHIELD Against Junk Patent Lawsuits

Two members of Congress have introduced legislation to help innovators combat patent trolls. The bill, dubbed the SHIELD Act (Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act) or HR 6245, co-authored by Congressmen Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would allow tech companies to recover litigation costs for nuisance lawsuits where the plaintiff made…

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Facial Recognition and the Panopticon

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law held the first of what will probably be many hearings on the privacy implications of facial recognition software. Much of the conversation somewhat predictably focused on how companies are making use of this new technology, and we agree that care should be…

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House Holds Hearing On Online Sales Tax Legislation

The Computer & Communications Industry Association continues to oppose H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act, on which the House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing July 24.  The bill would allow states that have fulfilled certain simplification requirements to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales and use taxes on purchases made to residents of…

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Digital Goods Provisions Added To Russia PNTR Bill

CCIA was pleased to learn senators added provisions to better protect digital goods ahead of the U.S. Senate Finance committee markup a bill today to permanently normalize trade relations (“PNTR”) with the Russian Federation and Moldova. CCIA issed a news release asking for better trade protections online after the Russian parliament’s vote to blacklist websites and allow them to be…

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