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Crapo, Risch, Blackburn Criticize Biden Admin’s Digital Trade Decision

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and several colleagues wrote President Biden in opposition to the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) decision to withdraw its support for long-standing U.S. government positions on digital trade, data localization and source code at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  This decision will create uncertainty and directly harm American innovators and small businesses that rely on the free flow of data and rules-based digital trade.

“This decision will create uncertainty and directly harm American innovators and small business that rely on the free flow of data and rules-based digital trade,” wrote the Senators. “. . . Every sector utilizes the digital economy and removing barriers to entry gives small business the chance to compete globally, reach economies of scale, and remove the impact that geography once had on trade.”

“By backing away from positions that ensure the protection of intellectual property rights, the U.S. government is opening the door to additional theft by adversaries like China, as well as disincentivizing future innovation by American companies,” the Senators continued.  “Ambassador Tai’s decision to pull American support for these protections must be reversed, as it would forfeit an area of American leadership in the world economy. . . The United States must remain a world leader in innovation and the digital economy; unfortunately, USTR’s policies will undermine our ability to do just that.”

Senators John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) also signed the letter.

The letter is available here.  It has received the support of the Consumer Technology Association, National Taxpayers Union, 365.Training, ACT | The App Association, Colorado Technology Consultants, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC), and Global Force Tech Consulting.