WASHINGTON -- Today, ITI, the global voice of the tech sector, welcomed the joint statement by 76 World Trade Organization (WTO) economies confirming their intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce, and affirming members’ commitment to encourage robust WTO member participation and achieve a high standard outcome that builds on existing WTO agreements and frameworks.
“We applaud WTO members on their decision to initiate negotiations toward a high standard outcome on key digital trade issues,” said Josh Kallmer, Executive Vice President of Policy at ITI. “These negotiations offer a unique opportunity to clarify and improve the existing framework of trade rules and commitments to the benefit of consumers and businesses of all sizes and across all industries. We encourage governments to pursue ambitious results that reflect the needs of the modern global economy, including through commitments to allow data to move across borders seamlessly, prevent requirements to localize the storage and processing of data, permanently prohibit tariffs and taxes on cross-border data flows and digital products, and prohibit requirements that companies transfer technology, source code, algorithms, or encryption keys. The tech industry looks forward to working together with our government partners to ensure the success of these negotiations.”