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BSA Recommends Eight Priorities for Expanding Digital Trade in US-EU Pact

WASHINGTON, DC — May 13, 2013

A trade agreement between the United States and the European Union provides an opportunity not just to expand transatlantic commerce but to set a global precedent for trade in digital-age products and services, BSA | The Software Alliance argued in comments submitted Friday to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The Administration in March announced its intention to begin negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the EU as early as this summer.

“A trade deal between the US and Europe can set an important marker for the global economy in the digital age,” said David Ohrenstein, BSA Director of Global Trade Policy. “These are the world’s two biggest economies. They account for half the global economy and a third of all trade. But the real significance of the TTIP is that it represents an opportunity to set rules of the road for doing business internationally in all the products and services that define the digital age. The US and EU can show the world the benefits of ensuring data can flow across borders — so small, medium and large enterprises can all compete on a global stage.”

To boost trade in digital goods and services across the Atlantic, BSA made eight recommendations to USTR for TTIP, including:

  • Opening cross-border data flows, which would increase trade in digital products and services, such as cloud computing;
  • Ensuring there is broad coverage of services — allowing new technologies not yet developed to be incorporated into the agreement;
  • Opposing localization requirements, which would defeat the economies provided by data centers, cloud computing and other digital services;
  • Reinforcing intellectual property protections to enable and spur the creative economy;
  • Liberalizing government procurement to set a standard for a free and fair market for products and services from the federal to the local level;
  • Ensuring transparency for state-owned enterprises and requiring the same obligations as the private sector when engaged in market activity;
  • Deferring to market-led, internationally agreed technology standards instead of unique standards for each national market; and
  • Facilitating skilled labor mobility by reforming or streamlining the visa, labor market and certification systems on both sides of the Atlantic.

Click here to download BSA’s submission to USTR regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, 78 Fed. Reg. 19566 (April 1, 2013), Docket: USTR-2013-0019.

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BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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