Oct 31, 2019
U.S. tech companies bemoan trade barriers
Aiming to stem the power and profits of big U.S. tech companies, governments around the world have imposed a variety of measures, from digital taxes to requirements that data be stored locally. However, the companies are starting to fight back.
Driving the news:
- In a release Thursday, the Internet Association called out India, Indonesia, and South Africa for pushing some of the "most problematic barriers to digital trade," including custom requirements on digital transactions.
- The Computer & Communications Industry Association highlighted online content regulations, the "link tax" from the EU Copyright Directive and anti-encryption laws in its filing.
The big picture: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative put a spotlight on digital trade issues this spring in its annual report on barriers to American exports, and the tech industry wants its issues prioritized as the office prepares next year's report.
- Other countries, meanwhile, say they are just looking to protect their citizens' data and get U.S. tech companies to pay their fair share of the vast profits they are making.
What's next: USTR will review the submissions for the 2020 National Trade Estimate, which is meant to aid U.S. negotiators as they work to reduce the barriers.