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To Benefit America, a Renegotiated NAFTA Must Include Four Tech Points, Says CTA

Arlington, VA – August 15, 2017 – 

The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding the pending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“The NAFTA renegotiations offer the Trump Administration a remarkable opportunity – the chance to build a modernized trade agreement that promotes the technologies and jobs of the future, and helps ensure America’s global leadership for decades to come.

“Remember, the technology behind the World Wide Web entered the public domain only months before we ratified NAFTA. Since then, America’s tech sector has become our economic engine – the envy of the entire world. A renegotiated NAFTA must include these four tech-related points, if we’re going to hold onto our hard-fought status as the world’s technology leader:

  1. Reduce barriers to digital trade – banning customs on digital content and preventing forced data localization means content and information can flow freely, and international companies aren’t forced to use a country’s local servers;

  2. Protect intellectual property rights and preserve the internet economy – balancing copyright limitations and exceptions removes impediments that stifle innovation, and including fair use provisions and strong liability protections is critical for internet intermediaries;

  3. Eliminate technical barriers to trade – an open and aligned regulatory process helps give consumers more affordable choices and allow companies bigger investments in their workers and innovation;

  4. Push for parity in rules of origin – imbalanced rules about materials and whether they qualify for NAFTA benefits hurt some of America’s backbone industries, their supply chains and the U.S. workers they employ.”

According to CTA’s U.S. Economic Contribution of the Consumer Technology Sector report, international trade generated direct, indirect and induced activity of $524 billion in total output, $271 billion in value added, $166 billion in labor income, $66 billion in tax payments and 2.8 million jobs in 2015.