May 09, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, ITI, the global voice of the tech sector, along with other leading international tech and business trade associations, outlined priorities for promoting growth, innovation, and sustainable development through digital trade and the adoption of digital technologies. In recommendations sent to governments ahead of next month’s G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy, ITI, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), techUK, the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), and DigitalEurope called on G20 participants to enable digital technologies and cross-border data flows; advance privacy protections; enhance national security and data security; and promote the fair development and deployment of AI and other cutting-edge technologies.

“Over the past decade, the way that companies do business around the world has changed dramatically,” the associations wrote. “Businesses across all sectors now rely on digital technologies to produce, move, market, and sell products and services[...] The G20 is a critically important setting for the world’s leading governments to outline approaches to managing 21st century technology policy challenges.”

The global industry groups made the following recommendations to governments:

  1. Facilitate the free flow of data across borders and refrain from imposing localization measures requiring the local storage or processing of data or the use of local computer facilities.
  2. Extend high-level privacy protection that ensures international interoperability and conforms with OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data.
  3. Enhance cybersecurity by utilizing risk-based approaches grounded in global, consensus-based, industry-led standards and best practices.
  4. Ensure that consumers are protected from fraudulent or deceptive commercial activities on the internet through cooperation between national consumer protection bodies.
  5. Partner with industry to promote access to life-long learning opportunities that increase digital literacy.
  6. Encourage the creation of new jobs in emerging business areas and promote economic growth through the adoption of digital technologies that leverage the potential of digital trade to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ integration into global value chains.
  7. Ensure the responsible and ethical design and deployment of AI systems, including addressing safety mechanisms, using robust and representative data, promoting transparency, and enabling greater interoperability.
  8. Support the development and use of global, consensus-based, industry-led AI standards to enable technical interoperability, non-discriminatory market access, and innovation.
  9. Facilitate data use and access to open format and machine-readable data sets as a means to foster innovation and competitiveness in AI technologies and enhance and generate business opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises.
  10. Oppose measures that require companies to transfer or otherwise subvert technologies such as forced disclosure of source code, algorithms, encryption keys, or other sensitive information as a condition of doing business.
  11. Reach early agreement on ambitious and inclusive international rules through the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce.
  12. Continue to expand participation in the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and pursue opportunities to broaden the product coverage of the ITA.
  13. Make permanent the WTO moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
  14. Refrain from adopting unilateral actions on tax challenges arising from digitalization before a multilateral framework has been developed.

Read the full recommendations here.

Note: The linked recommendations have been updated to reflect additional signers.

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment