Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo issued the following joint statement on Friday:
“Given the importance of the digital economy to both Australia and the United States, we agree to intensify cooperation to support the growth of digital trade between our countries, ensure an open, free and secure Internet, and advocate the liberalization and facilitation of global digital trade.
“We emphasize the importance of ensuring that our digital policy represents the highest standards for the constantly evolving commercial reality of digital trade. We particularly seek to ensure that our workers and small and medium-sized enterprises can succeed in the digital economy.
“At the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in December 2017, 70 WTO Members including Australia and the United States – accounting for more than 75 percent of global trade – agreed to work toward future negotiations on e-commerce. This initiative provides an opportunity to create ambitious, commercially meaningful international trade rules that address key trade barriers and will keep pace with technological change. We will seek to build on the positive momentum from Buenos Aires to move toward negotiations.
“We look forward to continuing to work together bilaterally and in international forums to ensure robust global digital trade rules.”