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JUL 01, 2020 | GLOBAL

USMCA’s Cross-Border Data Transfer Provisions Enter Into Force, Setting a New Global Standard

WASHINGTON – July 1, 2020 – The Global Data Alliance welcomes today's entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which contains the world's most advanced provisions on cross-border data transfers and data localization.

"The USMCA's data transfer provisions are a defining feature of this 21st Century trade agreement," stated Joseph Whitlock, Policy Director at BSA. "These provisions safeguard future access for American, Canadian, and Mexican companies and citizens to the economic opportunities and the cutting-edge technologies needed to compete in the global economy."

The USMCA’s data transfer provisions: (1) prohibit unnecessary data transfer restrictions; (2) protect against discrimination that would favor domestic data transfers over cross-border transfers; (3) apply to all sectors including financial services; and (4) stipulate that any data transfer rules must not: constitute disguised restrictions on trade, support arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or impose transfer restrictions that are greater than are necessary. The USMCA also prohibits data localization mandates.

The USMCA data transfer provisions are critical to North American competitiveness and jobs. They also stand as a model for the world. In every sector of the economy, cross-border data transfers provide benefits — enabling innovation, creating jobs, and promoting productivity, safety, and environmental responsibility — through 21st century technologies like cloud computing, blockchain, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Cross-border data transfers also enable every stage of the value chain, from R&D to production to post-sale service. By some estimates, 75% of the value of data transfers accrues to traditional industries like agriculture, logistics, and manufacturing. For more information, please see www.globaldataalliance.org

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, ITB360, LEGO, Mastercard, Panasonic, Pfizer, Roche, 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, energy, financial services, health, 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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