Free and open markets have been a core principle of CCIA since it was founded more than 50 years ago. Trade advantages all nations, as they can focus on production of goods and services most suitable to their resources and workforce. The digital economy, which is global by design and by virtue of the internet, is a force multiplier for trade and supports millions of U.S. jobs and boosts the U.S. GDP. The internet contributes to the majority of such services as digital services are increasingly integrated into manufacturing, agriculture, and other traditional U.S. sectors and as internet usage becomes increasingly cloud-based.
Digital trade is threatened by laws and regulations that hinder the further growth and cross-border delivery of internet services. Internet companies currently face a number of digital trade barriers that include data and infrastructure localization mandates, government-imposed mandates to filter and block user content and/or digital services, conflicting rules on liability for intermediaries, imbalanced copyright laws, mandated access to secure technologies and weakening of encryption, discriminatory taxes that target the U.S. tech sector, and excessive export control regimes on high-tech products. Along with harming digital exports, such laws jeopardize the open ecosystem of the internet and threaten to create a “splinternet.”
CCIA encourages countries to adopt regulatory and legal frameworks that lower barriers to trade and strengthen user trust in digital services. Bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements and international frameworks are an excellent method to boost the benefits of a rules-based global trading system and strengthen global norms for internet services while preserving individual jurisdictions’ rights to protect the interests of their citizens.
CCIA engages regularly with trade officials in the United States and around the world and participates in regulatory reviews and public comment processes globally.