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:

Lightsquared Announcement Disappoints CCIA, Wireless Users

The FCC has revoked Lightsquared’s waiver to operate its nationwide, satellite-based broadband network. The move comes after those trying to block the system lobbied against it claiming it would interfere with GPS traffic. CCIA and others hoping for more available spectrum and more wireless broadband competition are disappointed with this setback. Federal regulatory bureaucracy and…

Read more

On Shakespeare and Domain Name Blocking

Today’s New York Times features a peculiar editorial titled ‘Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?’, by Authors Guild representatives Scott Turow, Paul Aiken, and James Shapiro in advance of tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary hearing on targeting websites engaged in IP infringement. The column proposes the counterfactual notion that Shakespeare could not have survived in the age of…

Read more

Websites and the "Natural Monopoly" Myth

Over the past few years there has been a tendency, especially by those in the financial press, to play it fast and loose with economic jargon. Buzzwords replace actual understanding of issues and the fourth estate transmits these so-called truisms to the public. This can be highly misleading, and often it proves dangerous, especially if…

Read more

Websites and the “Natural Monopoly” Myth

Over the past few years there has been a tendency, especially by those in the financial press, to play it fast and loose with economic jargon. Buzzwords replace actual understanding of issues and the fourth estate transmits these so-called truisms to the public. This can be highly misleading, and often it proves dangerous, especially if…

Read more