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USTR forms Digital Trade Working Group
Jul '16
The United stated today announced the creation of a Digital Trade Working Group that will serve as a “Rapid Response” team to identify and combat barriers to digital trade and promote sound policies to advance global e-commerce.

The Digital Trade Working Group, created within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, (USTR) will work to address barriers to digital trade to promote the digital economy through a free and open Internet and commerce without borders.

It is led by Ambassador Robert Holleyman and comprises USTR staff with expertise in e-commerce, telecommunications, services, intellectual property, innovation, and industrial competitiveness, a USTR release said.

Making the announcement the US Trade Representative, Mr Michael Froman said “The Internet and digital technologies have a profound and positive impact on the U.S. economy, and it is important that barriers to trade and digital protectionism are monitored and addressed.”

Alongside the TPP, the first trade agreement to comprehensively address issues of the digital economy, the Digital Trade Working Group is an important resource to help the United States maintain its 'digital trade surplus,' and allow companies and workers in every sector of the U.S. economy to use the Internet to deliver innovative, American-made products and services abroad, he said.

The Digital Trade Working Group has been established to develop policy responses to existing and emerging barriers to digital trade across the world. It will closely examine barriers to cloud computing, platform services, and the trade in digital products, as well as coordinate the negotiation and implementation of digital trade provisions bilaterally and across on-going and completed negotiations including the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement.

The Working Group will also develop strategies for engagement in multilateral fora, including the WTO, APEC, G-20, and G-7 to support both an expansion in digital trade and the adoption of US' existing array of digital-trade-promoting rules more broadly, the release said. (SH).

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