SIIA Voices Concern Over USTR’s Shift in Digital Trade Policy, Urges Reconsideration

Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) President Chris Mohr issued the following statement following the decision by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to walk away from long-standing U.S. positions on digital trade at the WTO.

Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, cross-border data flows and digital trade has been a bipartisan strategic priority for the United States as a way of advancing the values of democratic countries. It is extremely concerning that the Biden administration has unilaterally decided to abandon that consensus.

Global trade rules do not constrain the ability of the U.S. government or Congress to regulate U.S. companies. Under the guise of providing “policy space” for U.S. domestic policymakers, the position adopted by the Administration in Geneva undermines U.S. strategic and economic interests abroad, weakens U.S. leadership, and opens the door for strategic adversaries like China to define the rules of the road for digital trade in a way that not only fails to advance democratic values, but actively harms them. What is even more concerning is that yesterday’s announcement is in direct opposition to the U.S. National Security, National Cybersecurity, and National Intelligence Strategies, each of which depends on the continuing strength of the U.S. technology and information industries – the very industries that USTR’s policy retreat will undermine.

We strongly urge the Administration to reconsider this deeply misguided change in policy

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