Statement on Inaugural U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) — scheduled for September 29-30 in Pittsburgh —  is an opportunity for the world’s largest trading partners and economies to foster greater alignment on technology issues that underpin the global economy.

SIIA is encouraged by the broad scope of the TTC framework. Covering critical topics such as coordination on technical standards, supply chain resilience, and alignment on data governance, TTC will also explore the nuances of technology platform oversight, increasing access to digital technologies and addressing the misuse of technology to undermine rights and values. 

But to achieve results that benefit U.S. and EU citizens as well as citizens of the global community, we must finalize a sustainable, enduring agreement on transatlantic data flows. This is why SIIA joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and nearly two dozen leading organizations in a major advertising campaign encouraging a transatlantic data flow framework. 

Information is the lifeblood of the digital economy and our daily lives. Consumers, businesses, researchers, teachers, and students rely on an ability to access, share, and use information. Data flows are in essence the sharing of information across borders. 

Representing a diverse coalition of organizations, SIIA has a unique vantage in understanding the effect of data flow protectionism. Our members rely on data to support learners of all ages, to provide investors with critical financial information, to support scientific research, to inform business strategy, to provide access to credit and to enable people around the world to communicate. Digital “borders” harm individuals — consumers, educators, learners, business leaders and investors — and inhibit innovation. Data flow regulations must strike the critical balance between enabling engagement and protecting individuals from public or private overreach.

There is much that aligns the United States and the EU. We are far closer to individual privacy and civil liberties than some would have us believe. Despite our differences, we are aligned in our support for privacy and individual liberties. And our respective governments have their own national security interests that must be balanced against these shared values.

How the United States and the EU align these values will have global ramifications. The United States and the EU must set an example for the rest of the world. Data localization requirements have grown exponentially in recent years. The rise of digital protectionism serves the interests of those who would segregate the Internet and use technology to further anti-democratic ends. As President Biden told the United Nations last week, we must, together, “ensure a future where technologies are a vital tool to solving human challenges and empowering human potential, not a source of greater strife and repression.”

This week’s TTC can build on the G7’s recent support for data-driven innovation and a framework for “data free flow with trust.” Doing so will help to establish a democratic vision for our shared digital future — a future marked by protections to preserve individual privacy and human rights and transparent data transfer mechanisms.

About SIIA

For more than 50 years, SIIA has united the information industries. Today, SIIA’s umbrella organization connects more than 450 diverse members who manage the global financial markets, develop software that solves today’s challenges through technology and provide critical information that help inform global businesses of all sizes. As the only professional organization representing Ed Tech, SIIA’s members bridge the gap educating students and the workforce driving innovation and growth.

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