Digital trade has become one of the global economy’s strongest drivers of growth, especially as it’s estimated that half of all value in the global economy will be created digitally by 2025. Unfortunately, an increasing number of countries are introducing digital barriers to trade such as local data center requirements, which mandate that Internet services companies locate data centers in-country as a condition of market access, or local data storage requirements mandating that companies must store and process data locally, thus cutting off cross-border data flows, and precluding the provision of Web-based services such as cloud computing. To address this, last week Senators John Thune and Ron Wyden introduced legislation in The Digital Trade Act of 2013 that articulates key principles U.S. trade negotiators should adhere to—such as prohibiting localization requirements for data and computing infrastructure—in order to protect the Internet from restrictive measures that obstruct the free flow of data in the global economy.
Canada at a Crossroads
While Canada currently lags behind many developed countries in terms of IP protections, the recently concluded Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations represent opportunities for Canada to adopt globally-accepted IP protections and to improve its enforcement efforts. Michelle Wein will participate in this panel discussion, which will explore Canada's weak IP environment and consider measures for improvement going forward. It is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.
The False Promise of Data Nationalism
A growing number of policy makers believe that data is more private and secure if it is stored domestically. This report shows why this is a false promise by providing a short guide to the implications of storing data on servers in foreign countries, with a foreign-owned service provider, or both, under various conditions. The report also recommends the United States engage its trade partners in developing a “Geneva Convention on the Status of Data” that establishes international legal standards for government access to data.
Talking TPP: Getting Through to Negotiators
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) can and should serve as a model for an innovation-centric trade agreement, promoting economic growth for all member countries. But to do so it must protect intellectual property, eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade, and ensure the free flow of information across borders. Anything less is unacceptable.