U.S. Trade Representative

Adopt a common definition for trade secrets.

Adopt a common definition for trade secrets: any information that has economic value (actual or potential), is not generally known to the public, and for which the trade secret owner has taken reasonable measures to keep private.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative should work with international agencies and foreign governments to support international efforts to combat spam

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative should work with international agencies and foreign governments to support international efforts to combat spam, including working to include strong cybersecurity measures in all trade agreements currently being negotiated.

USTR should fight local data center requirements and highlight instances of non-compliance by foreign governments.

Strong U.S. leadership is necessary to combat the unfair trade practices nations are using to block foreign competitors in the rapidly growing cloud computing industry. For example, the United States Trade Representative should highlight this type of behavior in its annual 301 report.

U.S. trade representatives should continue to work to expand the geographic scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

U.S. trade representatives should continue to work to expand the geographic scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), and (as with Russia’s WTO accession) also make it a requirement that new countries entering the WTO must also sign on to the ITA as a condition of entrance into the organization. Only 75 of the 157 WTO member countries participate in the ITA and there are several notable exceptions, particularly in Africa and Latin America. For example, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and South Africa have failed to sign onto the ITA, meaning that they receive the benefits of duty-free access to the 75 other countries for the high-technology products covered by the agreement without having to provide similar access to their own markets in return.

Lower-tier APEC economies should participate in discussion forums for continuous assessing and monitoring of the cutting-edge innovative regulatory tools that leader economies have explored.

Lower-tier economies should participate in discussion forums for continuous assessing and monitoring of the cutting-edge innovative regulatory tools and best practices that leader economies have explored in the hope of surmounting the challenges. They include: Reforming the ICT sector in an economy-specific framework of change management; Establishing a separate telecom/ICT regulator (among 21 APEC economies investigated, China, Hong Kong, Russia, and Vietnam have no separate entity for ICT regulation and policy); Extending telecom/ICT policy beyond the traditional core areas to include broadcasting content, Internet content, cybersecurity, and green IT policies for climate change; Setting clear dispute resolution mechanisms in a regulatory framework; and Aggressively reforming the spectrum allocation process more toward market-based allocation.

The United States should form new trade zones of like-minded countries committed to the principles of free and fair trade, starting with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreements.

An increasing number of countries have adopted mercantilist-styled trade and innovation policies. If existing multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the World Bank are not equal to the task of ending countries’ mercantilist practices, the United States, Commonwealth nations, European nations, and others should form new trade zones of like-minded countries committed to the principles of free and fair trade, excluding those countries whose “dominant logic” toward trade is characterized by mercantilist, export-led growth strategies. A Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that started by eliminating all tariffs between the United States and Europe would boost combined U.S.-EU GDP by $180 billion in just five years. An agreement that cut non-tariff barriers by 50 percent between the two parties could increase both EU and US GDP by 3 percent, generating annual gains of $450 billion for the United States and $495 billion for Europe.

U.S. Trade Representatives create within USTR an ambassador-level U.S. trade enforcement chief and a Trade Enforcement Working Group.

Creating these new positions would send a clear signal that a key part of USTR’s job is to aggressively bring actions against other nations that are engaged in technology mercantilism.