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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) 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 help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 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.


Michael O’Brien

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