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:

EPC Debates Non-EU Skilled Worker Transfers

In July 2010 the European Commission proposed a new Directive for the “Intra-Corporate Temporary Transfer of Non-EU Skilled Workers”. The proposal’s aim is to facilitate for multinational companies the temporary transfer of third-country national skilled workers from a company located outside the EU to branches or subsidiaries within the EU. The European Policy Centre (EPC), an independent,…

Read more

How open is open?

In December, the long awaited version 2.0 of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) was released by the European Commission. Version 1.0 had defined “open standard” as royalty-free, a definition of enormous impact on standards policy because it focused on the user perspective rather than the perspective of standards development organizations. Some standards organizations claim that…

Read more

Skilled Immigration Reform in the New Congress

With Republican control of the House and a larger Republican minority in the Senate, the conventional wisdom seems to be that any legislative action on immigration reform will be difficult. Certainly any attempts at legalizing illegal immigrants (and comprehensive reform packages that contain them) are likely to be met with fierce resistance by Republicans. However,…

Read more

Concerns Over Comcast Merger

Late last month FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski began circulating an order approving the proposed merger of Comcast with NBC Universal. Throughout the regulatory approval process lawmakers, industry groups, and consumer advocates have called on the FCC and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to block the proposed combination because it provides no public interest benefits,…

Read more