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Rising Tide of Protectionism Hurts US ICT Sales, Requires Global Strategy, BSA and Others Tell Obama Administration

Letter highlights indigenous innovation policies in key markets, calls for comprehensive policy response to ensure fair competition

Washington, DC — March 30—

The Business Software Alliance and a group of other leading trade groups today called for a comprehensive US strategy to discourage trading partners from adopting discriminatory market barriers disguised as efforts to promote domestic technology innovation.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the allied trade groups highlighted a rash of indigenous innovation policies cropping up in key markets, including China, India, Brazil, and Russia. These countries’ policies — many of which may violate global trade agreements — include mandatory technology transfers; local-sourcing requirements in public and private procurements; the escrow of source code and other sensitive design elements; import restrictions; and restrictions on cross-border data flows.

Left unchecked, the letter said, these policies will lead to a devastating loss of competitiveness and global market share for American companies, undermining US economic growth and job creation.

Click here to download a copy of the letter.

“I commend the Obama Administration for its past efforts to push back on discriminatory trade policies in key markets such as China and India,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “Unfortunately, these types of anti-competitive policies continue proliferating around the world. That calls for a more comprehensive US strategy to support open and non-discriminatory markets for American products.”

As one element of a new strategy, BSA and its fellow trade associations suggested that the United States raise indigenous innovation policies as an agenda item at upcoming G8 and G20 Summits.

“We look forward to working with the Administration to ensure US technology companies can compete on fair terms in the global economy so they can continue to be engines for economic growth and job creation here at home,” Holleyman said.

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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About BSA

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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