January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Today, a coalition of tech industry and business associations urged the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize strategic international engagement and open, rules-based digital trade as a means of promoting U.S. economic leadership and innovation. In their recommendations, the groups identified a set of specific, early actions the administration can take to maximize the benefits of technology and digital trade for economic growth and inclusivity, job creation, and addressing pressing societal challenges. They highlighted the need for these actions to address recent policy approaches taken by key U.S. trading partners that promote digital protectionism and harm U.S. exports and the entire innovation ecosystem.

“Working with allies, the U.S. government has pioneered the development and international promotion of digital trade rules that ensure the benefits of international commerce accrue across all sectors of the economy,” the associations said. “The recent proliferation of precisely the kinds of damaging barriers to digital trade that U.S. trade provisions are designed to counter fundamentally threatens U.S. global competitiveness. These policies harm U.S. jobs and economic growth while also decreasing the availability of innovative services at home and abroad. Given these global policy challenges and the importance of strengthening U.S. innovation leadership, the Biden-Harris Administration should make open, rules-based digital trade a top global economic priority.”

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), BSA | The Software Alliance, Internet Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, and the National Foreign Trade Council developed the recommendations.

The groups recommend that the Biden-Harris Administration:

  • Prioritize strategic engagement with U.S. trading partners by ensuring continued protected transatlantic data flows, establishing a U.S.-EU Trade & Technology Council, engaging China through prioritization of digital and technology issues, broadening U.S. engagement and leadership in the Asia-Pacific region, addressing key barriers to digital trade with India, and providing capacity building assistance to the African Union;
  • Promote U.S. competitiveness through leadership on digital trade by countering unilateral, targeted digital taxes, building acceptance of state-of-the-art digital trade commitments, promoting workforce development initiatives globally, and more; and
  • Reassert U.S. multilateral leadership by strengthening and leveraging engagement in global fora such as the WTO, OECD, United Nations, G20, G7, APEC, and others, and by expanding existing plurilateral trade agreements.

Read the full letter here.