Digital Trade Act of 2013 Instrumental to Protecting and Empowering the Global Digital Economy

December 12, 2013

Digital trade has become one of the global economy’s strongest drivers of growth, especially as it’s estimated that half of all value in the global economy will be created digitally by 2025. Unfortunately, an increasing number of countries are introducing digital barriers to trade such as local data center requirements, which mandate that Internet services companies locate data centers in-country as a condition of market access, or local data storage requirements mandating that companies must store and process data locally, thus cutting off cross-border data flows, and precluding the provision of Web-based services such as cloud computing. To address this, last week Senators John Thune and Ron Wyden introduced legislation in The Digital Trade Act of 2013 that articulates key principles U.S. trade negotiators should adhere to—such as prohibiting localization requirements for data and computing infrastructure—in order to protect the Internet from restrictive measures that obstruct the free flow of data in the global economy.