June 08, 2020

WASHINGTON – In an increasingly digital world, technology is evolving in ways that make national security a truly shared responsibility between government and industry. To help guide U.S. policymakers as they advance national security policies, global tech trade association ITI today released a blueprint for enhanced public-private sector cooperation on trade, technology, and national security.

ITI’s new Principles for Improved Policymaking and Enhanced Cooperation on National Security, Technology, and Trade outline five ways that the U.S. government and global companies can work together, across the full spectrum of public and private technologies, to harness U.S. technological leadership, economic openness, and international engagement in order to strengthen national security.

“Protecting national security is the most important responsibility of governments,” said Jason Oxman, ITI President and CEO. “It is the foundation for political freedom, economic opportunity, and the rule of law, enabling companies to innovate, create jobs, and support the industrial base. Our industry agrees that increased trade and innovation continue to raise new types of national security risks, and supports U.S. government efforts to find the right policies to address these new types of risks.

“As more and more policies aimed at strengthening national security intersect with trade, technology, and supply chain risk management policies, we urge the U.S. government to address these very legitimate concerns in ways that don’t create unintended negative consequences for U.S. companies, the economy, or national security,” Oxman continued. “We hope our principles can serve as a roadmap for national security policymaking that focuses on targeted solutions, enhances cooperation between government and industry, and plays to the United States’ historical strengths in innovation, business, and international cooperation.”

Specifically, ITI’s principles state:

1. Effective national security requires technological leadership. The U.S. government should design and deploy national security tools in ways that support companies in driving innovation and that promote, rather than impede, U.S. technological leadership.

2. Technological leadership depends on economic openness. The U.S. government should advance trade and investment policies that allow companies to succeed commercially and thereby contribute to technological leadership and economic competitiveness.

3. National security measures should focus on identified national security risks. The U.S. government should take a rigorous and targeted approach to addressing technology-related (and other) national security concerns, ensuring that laws, regulations, and other measures: (a) are based on factual evidence of concrete risks; (b) are narrowly-tailored to the risks themselves, rather than applied to entire categories of technology or business activity; (c) seek, where possible, to mitigate risks rather than prohibit business activity; (d) are not used to advance trade or other economic policy goals; and (e) otherwise avoid creating unnecessary costs, regulatory burdens, or government expenditures.

4. The United States should work in concert with like-minded economies. The U.S. and like-minded economies should take common approaches to technology-related national security risks – for example by ensuring expedited approvals of technology exports among such economies – to avoid harmful policy fragmentation and maximize the likelihood of achieving shared security objectives.

5. The U.S. government and industry should cooperate robustly and continuously. Both policymakers and industry should communicate regularly and robustly about relevant risks (consistent with limitations relating to classified information and business confidentiality), including through opportunities for industry input in regulatory rulemaking processes, public-private task forces and other collaborative mechanisms, and informal relationships between policymakers and companies.

Read the principles here.