I will be testifying today before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in a hearing on digital trade, and I plan to urge the ITC to cultivate the digital economy by lowering barriers to trade in digital services and prioritizing intellectual property protection and enforcement.
For years the software and information industries have been key drivers of the global knowledge economy, growing and producing high-wage jobs at a much greater rate than most other industries. And with the advancement of cloud computing and data driven analytics, digital-based industries such as these will only play a larger role in American economic growth and global economic opportunity. With so much at stake, SIIA is committed to working with the ITC and others to ensure that our trade and economic policies recognize the enormous value and unique needs surrounding digital trade.
The global nature of the digital economy makes it essential that we continually work to lower or eliminate barriers standing in the way of the unfettered flow of data. Of course, even without barriers, digital trade will never reach its potential if we don’t have strong intellectual property laws and enforcement that allow companies to profit from what they create. And importantly, trade agreements should recognize the specific needs of digital industries, following the lead of the U.S. Korea FTA, which ‘ensures non-discriminatory and duty-free treatment of all digital products.
We applaud the ITC for holding this hearing, and for recognizing the increasing importance and complexity of digital trade. As part of their work, we encourage the ITC to closely study the trends in software and information-based services. More information in this area will help us better understand both the opportunities and the roadblocks that may need to be addressed.
Full text of my testimony is available here.