Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedOctober 23, 2023

CCIA Submits Response To USTR Query On Trade Barriers

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative in response to its annual request for organizations to outline trade barriers affecting U.S. companies seeking to expand into overseas markets. USTR considers the responses to include in its annual National Trade Estimates (NTE) report which provides a country-by-country overview of trade barriers. CCIA also released a two-pager detailing the main takeaways of the comments.

CCIA outlined growing barriers to digital trade from governments seeking to promote their own companies and disadvantage US suppliers through a range of measures, from discriminatory taxes to forced revenue transfers between U.S. and local firms. Barriers have continued to proliferate in allies and key trading partners, not just markets such as China and Russia. Key barriers included data localization mandates and certification standards that undermine U.S. cloud providers, obligatory payments for U.S. online services providers to powerful local constituencies, surveillance demands, censorship, and various new restrictions targeted at U.S. companies that did not apply to other rivals, including outright prohibitions on U.S.-supplied services.

CCIA’s comments encourage USTR to address digital trade barriers as the tech industry is a key U.S. exporter, delivering a $256 billion trade surplus in digitally-deliverable services in 2022.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President for Digital Trade Jonathan McHale:

“As USTR takes stock of the significant and growing number of barriers to digital trade, we would encourage it to place a greater emphasis on working with trade partners to remove these obstacles to market access through increased engagement. Both large and small tech companies benefit from goods and services exports and these firms generate enormous value to the U.S. economy directly and through their contribution to other industries.  

“As a major source of U.S. competitiveness, domestically and internationally, addressing these barriers can have a multiplier effect, most directly in increasing exports but also in sustaining domestic industry which itself provides vast benefits to workers and consumers. Even as USTR looks to refashion trade policy, it must not lose sight of its core mission of removing barriers, which remains as important now as it was when USTR was created.”

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