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E-Commerce and Telecommunications
Promoting a free and open Internet, breaking down barriers, and strengthening protections for consumers.
 
In the past five years, the number of Internet users worldwide has ballooned from 2 to 3 billion and will continue to grow. The increase in Internet use creates significant economic potential, particularly for small businesses. The Obama Administration is working through TPP to unlock the promise of e-commerce, keep the Internet free and open, promote competitive access for telecommunications suppliers, and set digital trade rules-of-the-road.
 
We expect that TPP will put in place the most comprehensive set of rules ever negotiated addressing digital trade and the promotion of Internet-based commerce. This is a central area of American leadership and one of the world’s great opportunities for economic growth. TPP is designed to preserve the single, global, digital marketplace to ensure the free flow of global information and data that drive the digital economy. In doing so, we intend to promote trade and investment that enhances online speed, access, and quality.
 
OBJECTIVES
  • Secure commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products (e.g., software, music, video, e-books).
     
  • Ensure non-discriminatory treatment of digital products transmitted electronically and guarantee that these products will not face government-sanctioned discrimination based on the nationality or territory in which the product is produced.
     
  • Establish requirements that support a single, global Internet, including ensuring cross-border data flows, consistent with governments’ legitimate interest in regulating for purposes of privacy protection.
     
  • Establish rules against localization requirements that force businesses to place computer infrastructure in each market in which they seek to operate, rather than allowing them to offer services from network centers that make business sense.
     
  • Ensure close cooperation among TPP countries to help businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, overcome obstacles and take advantage of electronic commerce.
     
  • Secure commitments to provide reasonable network access for telecommunications suppliers through interconnection and access to physical facilities.
     
  • Establish provisions promoting choice of technology and competitive alternatives to address the high cost of international mobile roaming.
     
  • Promote public participation and transparency in the development of laws and regulations affecting the Internet, including with opportunities for public comment.
     
  •  Promote competitive supply of telecommunications services by addressing key bottlenecks.
     

RESOURCES

For more information on e-commerce and ICT, visit WWW.USTR.GOV/ISSUE-AREAS/SERVICES-INVESTMENT/TELECOM-E-COMMERCE