August 01, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today technology industry trade group ITI, the global voice of the tech sector, released its comments to the Trump Administration for its "Report to the President on Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses." ITI urged top trade officials to focus on technology-related trade barriers preventing U.S. companies from selling their goods and services overseas or impeding cross-border data flows that are vital to the economy:

"The tech industry sees great value in the Administration’s efforts to identify and address technology-related trade barriers, given the fact that tech products and services are being used to drive new growth across every industry,” ITI Senior Vice President for Global Policy Josh Kallmer said. “Removing these barriers and enabling digital information to move rapidly and freely, including across borders, offers the United States the greatest potential to use trade to enhance U.S. innovation, job creation, and economic growth."

In its 19-page submission to the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce, ITI: 1) underscored the tech industry’s support for U.S. trade and investment agreements; 2) described the barriers to trade and investment that technology and technology-enabled companies experience or may experience around the world; 3) identified existing U.S. trade agreements that may apply to these barriers; and 4) emphasized why new rules and new agreements may be necessary to address many of these barriers.

ITI also specified barriers the technology industry encounters in doing business in other countries, including:

  • Data localization and restrictions on cross-border data flows in China, Colombia, the European Union (EU), Indonesia, Korea, Russia, and Vietnam.
  • Restrictions on the ability of cloud computing companies to compete in China and Korea.
  • Rules that treat foreign firms and local companies differently in China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Russia, and Vietnam.
  • Discriminatory regulation of online service providers in Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Unbalanced copyright and intermediary liability frameworks in the EU, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Surrender of source code, technology, encryption keys, and intellectual property requirements in China, Indonesia, Russia, and Vietnam.
  • Technical barriers to trade, standards, and conformity assessment in the EU, India, Mexico, and Vietnam.
  • Tariffs and fees on technology products or digital products in the EU and India.
  • Burdensome customs regulations in Canada and Mexico.
  • Investment restrictions, including local presence requirements in China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
  • Restricted access government procurement markets in India and Korea.

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Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment