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U.S. Government Hears Views on Digital Trade

There has been a lot of high-level political banter as of late over the fate of the US-EU Free Trade Agreement, otherwise known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).  In the most recent macro political developments, the European Parliament voted for a resolution which essentially took cultural exemptions for audio and visual services off of the table and the Obama administration warned the UK that it would lose the benefits of TTIP if it decides to withdraw from the European Union.  And this is all before the talks have officially begun.

Today, CCIA’s CEO testifies at the U.S. International Trade Commission (for the complete written testimony, see here) on TTIP.  While the political intrigue and high-level maneuvering capture most of the headlines, the more important story is what this agreement can mean for modernizing trade agreements — particularly, to include provisions important to the Internet and Internet Commerce, an area that the international trade community has largely ignored.  The two most advanced and open economies in the world could potentially rewrite the rules of international trade in a positive way, especially if they solidify their positive ICT commitments from 2011 and learn from their failed attempt to foist controversial and misguided intellectual property rules on domestic legislatures through ACTA.  In the 21st century, it is just as important to protect bits from being blocked at the border as it is to protect Buicks.

Digital Trade

Companies rely on clear, predictable rules that facilitate digital trade to export their products and services around the world. These rules include balancing the competing interests between encouraging investment and enabling information access; promoting the free flow of information online; and maintaining balanced intermediary liability regimes.