date icon October 30, 2018 category icon Press Releases

Internet Industry Outlines Digital Trade Barriers In 50+ Countries To USTR

HAAS: “We’ve built a $196 billion digital trade surplus that benefits every part of our economy thanks to a policy framework that allows businesses of all sizes to compete and reach markets across the world.”

Washington, DC – Internet Association today released its submission for the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) National Trade Estimate Report (NTE) for 2019. IA’s filing details barriers internet companies face in doing business or competing on an even playing field in more than 50 countries. The countries creating the most barriers for U.S. internet companies include India, the EU, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam the filing shows.

“Digital trade is the future of the American economy,” said IA Director, Trade Policy, Jordan Haas. “We’ve built a $196 billion digital trade surplus that benefits every part of our economy thanks to a policy framework that allows businesses of all sizes to compete and reach markets across the world. IA’s NTE details how USTR should advocate for America’s continued success in the digital sector and help the American digital economy prosper.”

American companies face hundreds of barriers across the world that prevent them from growing or succeeding in foreign countries. Despite these barriers, America’s digital trade surplus actually grew more than 5 percent last year to $196 billion dollars. More than half (64 percent) of all service exports are digital exports and each year U.S. manufacturers export $86.5 billion of products and services through digital trade.

Digital trade barriers often prevent American companies from providing services to local citizens and connecting them to the rest of the world. The top barriers for American companies by volume include:

  • Sharing economy restrictions
  • Unbalanced copyright & liability frameworks
  • Burdensome or discriminatory data protection regimes
  • Data flow restrictions & service blockages
  • Overly restrictive regulation of online privacy

The full list of barriers detailed in IA’s report include: burdensome or discriminatory data protection regimes; customs barriers to growth in e-commerce; data flow restrictions and service blockages; discriminatory or non-objective application of competition regulations; filtering, censorship, and service-blocking; non-IP intermediary liability barriers; restrictions on U.S. cloud service providers; overly restrictive regulation of online services; sharing economy barriers; unbalanced copyright and liability frameworks; and unilateral or discriminatory tax regimes.

To read the full report, click here.

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