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FEB 08, 2019 | GLOBAL

BSA Argues for Removal of Foreign Market Access Barriers That Threaten America's Innovative Edge in Software

Trade group highlights 10 countries and one region with concerning data policies

WASHINGTON — February 8, 2019 — In its annual Special 301 filing today, BSA | The Software Alliance called on the US government to advocate for digital market access and intellectual property (IP) frameworks to safeguard America’s innovative edge in the global digital economy.

The ability of US companies to continue to lead global advances in innovative technology is under a rising threat abroad from digital protectionism and isolationism, including restrictions on cross-border data transfers; coercive technology transfer; and discrimination against foreign companies, products, and technologies.

“BSA values the US government’s critical role in keeping foreign markets open to software technologies that depend upon enormous investments in R&D,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “BSA members are among our nation’s most innovative companies and top IP holders, and greatly contribute to the US economy and US job creation. Their continued success depends on the ability to move data across borders, as well as on IP frameworks suited to the 21st Century economy. A proactive and forward-looking stance on digital trade and innovation means protecting America’s competitive edge.”

Increasingly, market access barriers in trading partner markets take the form of data localization policies that restrict a company’s ability to transfer data outside a country’s territory where the data could be more effectively and securely stored or processed. Sometimes the barriers are based on privacy or security concerns, but too often the real motivation is protectionism, as the policy means chosen are often significantly more trade-restrictive than necessary to achieve any legitimate public policy goal.

BSA urges the US Government to work with its trading partners to prevent or remove such practices and to leverage mechanisms such as Special 301.

BSA’s submission recommended that five countries be placed on the Special 301 Priority Watch List: Chile, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In addition, BSA recommended five countries for placement on the Special 301 Watch List: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, and Thailand. BSA also requested that the European Union be highlighted as a Region of Concern.

For a copy of BSA’s full submission, click here.

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