ITIF Releases One of the First Studies on Localization Barriers to Trade

September 20, 2013

WASHINGTON (September 20, 2013) - In the aftermath of the Great Recession an increasing number of countries, including China, India and Brazil, have come to embrace a new kind of protectionist trade policy that seeks to pressure foreign enterprises to "localize" economic activity in order to create domestic jobs. Not content to trust the global trade and investment system, these nations are putting in place an array of unfair trade practices to promote local production in lieu of imports.

These practices, called localization barriers to trade, include measures such as local content requirements, forced offsets, and forced intellectual property or technology transfer as a condition of market access. These policies inflict significant damage on the countries affected by them, the broader global economy, and even, ironically, the very nations that implement them.

Unfortunately there has been very little assessment of the scope of these policies or their specific impact on global trade and innovation. In response, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release the report Localization Barriers to Trade: Threat to the Global Innovation Economy on Wednesday, September 25. The report offers an innovative typology of trade and development strategies, documents the extent of localization barriers to trade U.S. enterprises face in global markets, and offers policy responses that can assist in creating a new global trade regime that favors rules- and market-based trade while supporting the modern knowledge- and innovation-based global economy.

Embargoed copies of the report will be available September 24. Please contact ITIF Communications Director William Dube at if you would like a copy.

The report will be unveiled as part of the panel discussion, Confronting Global Anti-Competitive Market Distortions, Wednesday, September 25 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM at ITIF, 1101 K St. NW, Suite 610A. It will feature Shanker Singham, Managing Director of the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project at Babson Global; Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Stephen Ezell, Senior Analyst at ITIF.

The event is free, open to the public and will be Webcast live. For more information or to register visit


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at

Contact: Samantha Greene
Phone: (202) 626 5744