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Global Data Alliance Signs Multi-Industry Statement Supporting Ambitious WTO E-Commerce Commitments

BRUSSELS, SINGAPORE, WASHINGTON – January 26, 2021 – The Global Data Alliance today signed a Multi-Industry Statement on Cross-Border Data Transfers and Data Localization Disciplines in the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce. Together with more than 75 other industry associations active across six continents, the Global Data Alliance encourages governments to agree to ambitious commitments in ongoing WTO e-commerce negotiations.

The multi-industry statement calls on the 86 countries involved in the WTO JSI negotiations to agree a framework on cross-border data flows that: (1) prohibits unnecessary or discriminatory data localization mandates and data transfer restrictions; (2) applies across all economic sectors; (3) reflects principles of transparency and interoperability among legal frameworks; and (4) requires all countries to adopt or maintain legal frameworks to protect personal information.

In today’s remote environment, such commitments have never been more important. Governments and businesses across all regions and in every sector depend upon secure and seamless data flows to create jobs and to offer essential services. The cross-border movement of information around the world enables workers and companies to design, create, and export new products and services; to enhance business processes and increase productivity; to reach new customers globally; and to engage in research, development, and innovation. The cross-border movement of information is also often needed for scientific research; to develop new medicines and treatments; and to deliver safe and effective healthcare.

Many countries engaged in the WTO JSI negotiations have already made forward-looking commitments on data flows in their regional trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Based on these and similar pacts, the Global Data Alliance encourages all governments participating in the WTO e-commerce talks to work toward achieving broad, international consensus on cross-border data flows.

Read the full multi-industry statement here.

About the Global Data Alliance

The Global Data Alliance (globaldataalliance.org) is a cross-industry coalition of companies that are committed to high standards of data responsibility and that rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to innovate and create jobs. The Alliance supports policies that help instill trust in the digital economy while safeguarding the ability to transfer data across borders and refraining from imposing data localization requirements that restrict trade.

Alliance members include BSA members and American Express, Amgen, AT&T, Citi, ITB360, LEGO, Mastercard, Medtronic, Panasonic, Pfizer, RELX, Roche, UDS Technology, United Airlines, Verizon, Visa, and WD-40 Company. These companies are headquartered across the globe and are active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, electronics, financial services, health, media and entertainment, natural resources, supply chain, and telecommunications sectors, among others. BSA | The Software Alliance administers the Global Data Alliance.


BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) ist die globale Stimme der Software-Industrie gegenüber Politik und Wirtschaft. Die Mitglieder der BSA gehören zu den innovativsten Unternehmen weltweit und erarbeiten neue Software-Lösungen, die die Wirtschaft antreiben und das moderne Leben von heute prägen.

Die BSA mit Hauptsitz in Washington, D.C., und Niederlassungen in über 30 Ländern weltweit leistet Pionierarbeit in der Schaffung von Programmen zur Einhaltung und Durchsetzung geistiger Eigentumsrechte und der Einführung von Richtlinien, auf deren Basis technologische Innovationen und die digitale Wirtschaft gefördert werden.


Michael O’Brien

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