Today, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced the creation of a Digital Trade Working Group within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The group will serve as a “Rapid Response” team to identify and combat barriers to digital trade and promote sound policies to advance global digital trade around the world. Led by Ambassador Robert Holleyman and composed of USTR staff with expertise in e-commerce, telecommunications, services, intellectual property, innovation, and industrial competitiveness, the group will work to address barriers to digital trade to promote the digital economy through a free and open Internet and commerce without borders.
“The Internet and digital technologies have a profound and positive impact on the U.S. economy, and it is important that barriers to trade and digital protectionism are monitored and addressed,” Ambassador Froman said. “Alongside the TPP, the first trade agreement to comprehensively address issues of the digital economy, the Digital Trade Working Group is an important resource to help the United States maintain its 'digital trade surplus,' and allow companies and workers in every sector of the U.S. economy to use the Internet to deliver innovative, American-made products and services abroad.”
The Digital Trade Working Group was established to develop policy responses to existing and emerging barriers to digital trade around the globe. It will closely examine barriers to cloud computing, platform services, and the trade in digital products, as well as coordinate the negotiation and implementation of digital trade provisions bilaterally and across on-going and completed negotiations including the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement. The Working Group will also develop strategies for engagement in multilateral fora, including the WTO, APEC, G-20, and G-7 to support both an expansion in digital trade and the adoption of our existing array of digital-trade-promoting rules more broadly.