November 05, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice for the technology sector, released the following statement from President and CEO Dean Garfield on the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement text:

“With the release of the text of the TPP Agreement, we congratulate USTR Ambassador Michael Froman, the entire USTR team, and all of the other TPP Parties for working tirelessly for more than five years to reach this ground-breaking agreement. While we are still reviewing the text as published, it is clear that the agreement addresses new issues critical to the continued growth of, and innovation by, the tech sector. For the first time in a trade agreement, there are provisions that prohibit restrictions on cross border data flows and local data storage, permit companies and individuals to use their choice of cybersecurity and encryption tools, and ensure the protection and enforcement of trade secrets.

“Technology is increasingly the most critical ingredient in all sectors of the global economy, with the free flow of data enabling it to reach its full potential in our lives and in commerce. In that regard, we are hopeful that this agreement will create world-class norms that ensure the free flow of data, information, and digital trade needed by companies of all sizes, and across all industries, to promote a strong, modern economy. Our review will focus on whether the agreement removes and prevents tariff and non-tariff barriers to information and communication technology and services - particularly forced localization measures - promotes strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, and creates cultures of regulatory transparency and accountability in all TPP parties.

“We are also eager to see if the agreement will inspire other countries in the region, such as the Republic of Korea, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, to pursue the domestic reforms necessary to join the TPP. ITI looks forward to reviewing the text in its entirety with our member companies to ensure that it achieves these goals, and if it does, will be ready to the work with the administration and Congress on enactment.”

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Public Policy Tags: Forced Localization, Trade & Investment