In written testimony to the United States International Trade Commission, Stephen Ezell emphasized the importance of issues regarding digital trade in the global economy. Digital trade based on information and communications technologies (ICTs) matters because ICTs are the global economy’s strongest driver of productivity, innovation, and growth. For instance, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the Internet alone accounted for 21 percent of the aggregate GDP growth across thirteen of the world’s largest economies from 2006 to 2011, while the World Bank estimates that ICTs accounted for one-quarter of GDP growth in many developing countries during the first decade of the 21st century. Going forward, a March 2013 study by Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy estimates that, by 2025, half of all value in the global economy will be created digitally. This growing digitalization of the global economy is reflected in the expected quintupling of global Internet traffic between 2011 and 2015 and the approximate 50 percent growth in cross-border trade in data annually. Therefore, ensuring the uninhibited flow of information, data, and ICT products and services across borders has become vital both to realizing a robust global economy and healthy national economies.
Testimony and Filings
Hearing on U.S.-India Trade Relations: Opportunities and Challenges
|In testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, Stephen Ezell argued for a strong, growing, and collaborative trade relationship between the United States and India. However, India's recent trade policies are placing that relationship in jeopardy. Strong leadership will be needed from both sides to ensure a continued robust trade partnership between the two countries. |
Comments on ICANN Closed Generic TLDs
In response to ICANN's request for public comment on “Closed Generic TLDs," ITIF recommends that ICANN not attempt to classify certain strings as “generic.” Instead, it should retain its policy of allowing public comment on all proposed TLDs and address any disputes that arise through this process. Second, ITIF recommends that ICANN not impose open registration policies on TLD operators for non-legacy TLDs (e.g., “.COM”, “.ORG”, etc.), including any “generic” TLDs. Open registration policies would allow any member of the public to purchase domains from the TLD operator; closed registration policies would allow the TLD operator to set its own rules for who, if anyone, could purchase domains for a particular TLD.
Testimony to Vermont Agricultural & Forest Products Advisory Board: H112
Vermont's H112, which would require process specific labels in Vermont for some foods containing ingredients derived from crops improved through certain techniques of modern biotechnology, is based on a number of misunderstandings and factual errors. Experience has shown that proposals like this, when enacted, have a history of delivering results opposite of those supporters claim to seek.
The Impact of International Technology Transfer on American Research and Development
The reality is that forced technology transfer is enabling China and other nations to gain global market share. But even if this does not succeed in transforming the Chinese economy into an innovation-based one, forced technology transfer polices do considerable harm to U.S. technology companies and to the U.S. economy, if for no other reason than reducing their profits and ability to reinvest in the next wave of innovation. The United States needs to pursue a two-pronged trade strategy, continuing as best it can to improve conventional trade organizations like the WTO, but also creating alternative “play-by-the-rules” clubs of like-minded countries. Pressured or mandatory technology transfer by other nations has, is, and will continue to negatively impact American R&D and innovation capabilities. It’s time for the federal government to step up its actions to fight this corrosive mercantilist practice.
The Information Technology Agreement: Advice and Information on the Proposed Expansion: Part 2
ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell testified before the United States International Trade Commission making the case for the ITA as a true win-win trade agreement and the need for expansion. The ITA has worked well, but it can work even better if it's updated to include the vast array of innovative new information and communications technology products that have been launched in the past fifteen years.
Comments on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA Rule)
The FTC is considering modifications to the COPPA Rule. In this supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, the FTC has proposed modifying the Rule’s definition of “operator,” “Web site or online service directed to children”, “personal information,” and “support for internal operations” to impose more restrictive rules on what personal information can be collected about children and who is allowed to collect this information. In particular, this would restrict targeted advertising on websites directed at children under the age of 13. As described in this filing, ITIF believes the current effort to create more restrictions on the collection and use of information about children is misguided and likely leaves children worse off. Rather than impose additional rules on website operators, the FTC should instead explore ways to foster more development of child-directed sites and services on the Internet using market-friendly methods.
Cloud Computing: An Overview of the Technology and the Issues Facing American Innovators
In testimony to the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, Daniel Castro reviews the two important principles for cloud computing: creating “cloud-neutral” policies and addressing anti-competitive foreign practices that challenge the dominance of cloud computing service providers in the United States. He emphasized that strong U.S. leadership in cloud computing is necessary to combat unfair trade practices that other nations are using to block foreign competitors in the rapidly growing cloud computing industry.
ITIF Comments on Privacy and Security of Information Stored on Mobile Communications Devices
The FCC should not extend its authority to regulate the software that is installed on mobile devices. The current uses of CPNI by carriers are appropriate and neither the FCC nor consumers advocacy group have identified any specific harms to consumers. While privacy is an important issue to consider, the potential negative impact of additional regulation on the mobile Internet, mobile devices, and mobile applications should be considered as well. The FCC should instead use its expertise to help identify issues that need attention and actively participate in existing multistakeholder efforts to improve consumer privacy.
Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Rob Atkinson's testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stresses China has made a strategic decision to leapfrog its current development path to become a high-tech economy. The implications for the United States economy should be cl