“NFTC applauds Senators Thune and Wyden for their leadership in emphasizing the importance of global access to Internet-enabled services and digital information. The kinds of provisions detailed in this bill would serve as an important complement to the recently concluded WTO trade facilitation agreement, giving a boost to the ability of entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes and across industries to participate in the global marketplace.
“Global flows of information and Internet-powered services promote more inclusive growth around the world, increasingly enabling anyone with an Internet connection to tap into trade; yet barriers are beginning to surface that would inhibit this gateway to the global economy. It is important to examine how best to address emerging cases of digital protectionism as this bill seeks to do.
“It is also important to recognize that the kinds of provisions contemplated in this legislation would build upon a series of international obligations relevant to the digital economy to which countries are already bound.
“We look forward to working with the Senate Finance Committee and others to advance these provisions in appropriate bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral forums – noting that not all of these provisions will be pursued through traditional trade channels. We also look forward to emphasizing the importance of a number of these principles – most urgently, preventing barriers to the movement of electronic information across borders and prohibiting measures that condition market access or other commercial benefits on localization of data, infrastructure, or investment – in legislation to grant the President Trade Promotion Authority.”
NFTC included suggestions for provisions on the global digital economy in its draft “Trade Negotiating Authority” legislation, which the Council released earlier this year and joined other business associations and companies in supporting a similarly-aligned set of “principles to promote cross-border data flows” in 2011.
About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for A Century- The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules- based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.