December 14, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice of the tech sector, today announced its support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, becoming the first broad-based technology group to call on lawmakers to approve the sweeping trade agreement. In a policy position released to both the Obama Administration and lawmakers in Congress, ITI said its announcement comes after the careful review process ITI announced when the TPP agreement was made public in early November.

“When the TPP agreement was announced, ITI said we would reserve judgment until we could review the text to see if it addressed the trade issues that our companies have encountered,” said Dean Garfield, ITI President and CEO. “After reviewing the agreement, we have decided to support the TPP, because it offers tremendous growth and innovation opportunities for the technology sector and our economy. In tech, our innovation cycles occur in months, not years. We should not wait, now is the time for TPP.”

Garfield noted that the TPP addresses a number of issues critical to expanding trade and accessing foreign markets, including ensuring the free flow of data and information across borders, which is key to a healthy and flourishing digital economy and an Internet that is open and global. Along with expanding market access for technology goods and services, the TPP includes strong and balanced intellectual property protections, and creates more predictability and certainty for technology companies operating in TPP party markets by improving regulatory transparency.

“When it comes before lawmakers for a vote, Congress will have two choices when it considers the TPP: to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” Garfield continued. “Technology is a prime driver of economic growth in each of the fifty states and every congressional district; it facilitates the export of goods and services that support good jobs in their communities. We will be investing in shoe leather outreach to knock on the doors of Members of Congress and encourage them to vote ‘yes’ on this opportunity to supercharge our economy in the decades ahead.”

While U.S. technology companies exported $10 billion in goods and services to TPP markets in 2014, they faced stiff tariffs of up to 35%, and have encountered restrictions and barriers in accessing markets covered by the agreement. Nations that are a part of the TPP are among the fastest-growing economies in the world and account for 40% of global gross domestic product. Early estimates suggest the TPP could generate more than $220 billion in additional global income each year.

# # #

Public Policy Tags: Forced Localization, Data & Privacy, Trade & Investment, Internet Governance, Intellectual Property