ACA Urges USTR to Make Digital Trade a Priority
November 19, 2018
Earlier this month, ACA submitted a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer in support of the USTR’s announcement that it will enter trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom. In the Nov. 6 letter, ACA and some 30 other organizations, urged USTR to make digital trade a priority in each of these negotiations, drawing from provisions of the recently announced United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
In its letter, ACA and the other signatories noted that American companies in nearly every industry benefit from strong digital trade rules. Today more than 75 percent of economic value created by the internet is captured by companies in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to services to agriculture, and many of them are small businesses located in every state.
“The importance of robust digital trade rules has never been stronger,” the letter stated. “Nearly $8 trillion is exchanged through global e-commerce annually. Digital trade accounts for more than half of U.S. service exports. The United States runs a $159 billion trade surplus in digitally-deliverable services and these services are responsible for 7.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and nearly 6.7 million American jobs.”
At the same time, the letter observed that an increasing number of governments around the world are seeking to erect trade barriers to the digital economy in ways that will hurt U.S. businesses and workers. “Strong digital trade outcomes in the EU, Japan, and UK negotiations will help counter these growing restrictions on U.S. trade and set examples for other countries developing their own digital trade rules. The administration would miss an opportunity with three of our most important trading partners if it omitted digital trade from the negotiations.”
ACA will remain engaged in trade issue impacting the coatings industry.
Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.