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 E-Merchants Trade Council, Inc.

Simplifying Global E-commerce 

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TRADE: U.S. Withdraws Support for Digital Trade Policies at WTO

Mon, October 30, 2023 3:08 PM | Anonymous


On October 25th, the United States announced at the World Trade Organization that it was withdrawing support for digital trade proposals seeking free cross-border data flows, restrictions on data localization and barriers to reviewing source code. These proposals were put forward by the United States in 2019 as these principles were included in the USMCA which garnered bipartisan Congressional support.

The USTR's reason for withdrawing the free trade policy is to create "policy space" to reconsider its approach to regulating digital trade has been met with skepticism and outrage. Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo are not happy with the change in policy, nor is Chairman Smith of the House of Ways and Means Committee.

These digital trade policies will have a big impact on how e-commerce cross-border trade is conducted because the internet is global by its very nature so restrictions on data flows will increase costs.  EMTC is working with other trade associations to express our concern to policymakers about this policy reversal.

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