Posts Under: Trade

Tariffs Will Impede the Development of the Internet of Things (IOT) in the United States

The Internet of Things (IOT) is another ongoing transformational technology that is changing and will continue to change our lives.  Gartner calculates that there were roughly 8.4 billion IOT connected devices in 2017 and there will be about 20.4 billion in 2020.   This SIIA White Paper describes the benefits for consumers, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare.    The United States, among other countries (including China) is taking advantage of the opportunities presented by IOT.  The important thing in this context is to maintain and, if possible, expand the American IOT adoption rate.  Why is this important?  First, it matters because the United States has a comparative advantage over China in this space.  Second, manufacturing, a sector prioritized by the Trump Administration, will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of IOT.  Third, consumers benefit economically from IOT, but the technology is also a matter of conve ...

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A Fresh Look at Digital Trade in North America: We May be Underestimating the Economic Significance of Data Flows

Last week on December 1, SIIA partnered with George Washington University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation to take “A Fresh Look at Digital Trade in North America.” The livestream can be accessed by anybody who has a Facebook account and is available here.  Pictures from the event can be found here on the Institute for International Economics Facebook page.  There is also Politico reporting from the discussion.  The NAFTA renegotiation is a top SIIA goal and the Association’s priorities can be found in this testimony.    

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E-Commerce and Developing Country SMEs

Yesterday on October 11, 2017, Thomson Reuters organized an event in Washington, D.C. on “Innovative Approaches to Advancing Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Globally.  It was definitely timely given the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund to have conversation about the role that innovation plays in advancing SMEs.  Moderated by Howard Schneider (Federal Reserve Correspondent), speakers included Dr. Kim Bettcher (Senior Knowledge Manager, Center for International Private Enterprise), Tina Ghanem (Head of SME Business, Global Growth Operations, Thomson Reuters), Dr. Nicole Goldin, President, NRG Advisory & NonResident Senior Advisor, CSIS), David Hartingh (Executive Vice President & CEO, International Executive Service Corps), Dr. Wanda Lopuch (Chair, Board of the Global Sourcing Council), Kathleen Neumann (President and COO, SerenityShares), and Gabriel Thoumi (Director, Capital Markets, Climate Advisors).  ...

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EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement Falls Short on Data Flows

Today, the EU and Japan announced political agreement in principle on an Economic Partnership Agreement.  Overall, this should be a positive development for EU and Japanese workers, consumers, and businesses.  But, it does fall short in one crucial regard.  There is no binding data flow obligation yet.  SIIA put out a statement on this gap today.  Instead of a binding data flow commitment now, the two sides agreed to conclude an accord on data flows in early 2018. 

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Trade Agreements and Data Protection: Changing GATS Article XIV is Not the Way to Go

In a March 30, 2017 opinion piece, “Don’t trade away data protection,” two leading Members of the European Parliament, Viviane Reding and Jan-Phillip Albrecht, suggest “strengthening data protection safeguards in the General Exception (known as GATS XIV) and E-Commerce chapters, and removing necessity and consistency tests.”  The idea behind the proposal is to make absolutely certain that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and perhaps other parts of the EU privacy acquis could not be successfully challenged as inconsistent with an affirmative cross-border data flow obligation.  This is a topic SIIA will comment on again in the coming months, likely in a longer form Issue Brief.  This blog discusses the proposal to remove the necessity test.

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U.S.-China Trade: Yes it is Time to Try Something Different!

The meeting between President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping appears to have been a productive first get together between the leaders of the world’s most important bilateral economic and political relationship.   SIIA was pleased that President Trump raised concerns about, among other topics, China’s cyber policies on U.S. jobs and exports. 

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New Avenues to Govern Cross-Border Information Flows

The Elliott School of International Affairs hosted a very interesting conversation today on “New Avenues to Govern Cross-Border Information Flows.”  SIIA co-sponsored the event together the Internet Society of Greater Washington, D.C.  The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) presented the event.  Research Professor and Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Susan Aaronson moderated. I provided an industry perspective, and my talk is available here.  My written remarks focus on what we hope to achieve with respect to cross-border data flows in the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), the WTO’s E-commerce Work Committee, the G20, G7, and the OECD.   However, as fellow panelist USTR Director for Digital Trade Sam DuPont concentrated on these fora, I emphasized in my spoken remarks four aspects of the cross-border data flow discussion.  First, key industry “asks” such as obligations to permit data flows, avoidance of serv ...

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SIIA Testifies on China's WTO Compliance

Today I testified before the United States Trade Representative on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.  See this document for my testimony and this United States Information Technology Office (USITO) submission to USTR.  In addition to the serious Intellectual Property Rights issues and other matters such as China’s so-called secure and controllable cybersecurity policies discussed during the testimony, today’s hearing underscored three additional big picture factors that that policymakers need to address as a new administration soon takes office. They can be summarized as follows.

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The Dangers of Deglobalization

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report entitled, Preventing Deglobalization: An Economic and Security Argument for Free Trade and Investment in ICT.  Given the Brexit vote earlier this year, the G-20 Summit earlier this week, and both major U.S. Presidential candidates’ vocal disapproval of trade deals, this report comes at an excellent time to counteract the public’s declining faith in globalization.   Concerns stemming from the results of a globalized ICT economy are not unjustified.  Some countries have adopted protectionist policies in an attempt to foster their own competitive economies in the global marketplace, and others have done it with national security in mind to ensure that globalized products do not contain malware inserted by a foreign country or company to conduct cyber theft or espionage.  These are both fair reasons for wanting to adjust policy to remedy these concerns.  However, as the Chamber’s report ...

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