New USTR Working Group to Help Combat Barriers, Promote Policies on Digital Trade
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced this week the creation of a Digital Trade Working Group within USTR that will be “an important resource to help the United States maintain its ‘digital trade surplus’ and allow companies and workers in every sector of the U.S. economy to use the Internet to deliver innovative, American-made products and services abroad.” The working group will be led by Robert Holleyman and composed of USTR staff with expertise in e-commerce, telecommunications, services, intellectual property, innovation and industrial competitiveness.
The working group will serve as a rapid response team to identify and combat barriers to digital trade and promote sound policies to advance digital trade around the world. It will closely examine barriers to cloud computing, platform services and trade in digital products. It will also coordinate the negotiation and implementation of digital trade provisions bilaterally and across ongoing and completed negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement. The working group will also develop strategies for engagement in multilateral fora, including the WTO, APEC, G-20 and G-7, to support both an expansion of digital trade and the adoption of the existing array of U.S. digital trade-promoting rules more broadly.