PublishedJanuary 30, 2012

Breadth and Depth: Expand the Number of TPP Countries and Promote Internet Trade

Today, CCIA sent letters to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) expressing our desire to see CanadaJapan and Mexico’s unconditional participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

As three of our four biggest trading partners, Canada, Japan and Mexico’s inclusion in the TPP is essential to ensuring our biggest trading partners are operating under the same “high standard” trade framework.  Besides the obvious gains to be won in further liberalizing trade in these huge markets, having these major trading partners all operating under the same or similar rules would reduce red tape and enhance efficiency.

In terms of broadband connections, Japan is the second biggest OECD market in the world for Internet services (behind only the United States) and Canada is in the top 10.  Mexico is not too far behind, and is growing fast.   And as the second biggest Spanish speaking Internet market in the world it presents U.S. companies with a huge stepping-stone to the rest of the Spanish speaking markets throughout the Americas and in Europe.   For U.S. Internet and technology companies, including these major markets is a must and will help the TPP realize its potential of becoming a truly gold-standard template for twenty-first century Trans-Pacific trade rules.

Also, CCIA urges trade negotiators to address Internet issues (such as the free flow of information and cross-border data flows), as it would be inconceivable for this self proclaimed twenty-first century trade agreement to not make thesingle biggest economic activity reshuffler of the modern age a major focus of this effort.  If significant attention is paid to liberalizing and protecting the open nature of cross-border information and data flows, economic data suggests that all trade, not just Internet services trade, will benefit.   Furthermore, CCIA encourages trade negotiators to take notice of the recent firestorm generated by SOPA and PIPA in the United States and ensure that intellectual property protections are balanced with targeted exceptions, such as DMCA-like safe harbors and fair-use, that have allowed the Internet industry to thrive in the United States.

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