CTA Statement | December 05, 2019

Protect Online Free Speech: Keep Section 230 Language in USMCA

Michael Petricone

The United States is home to the world’s leading online companies and most dynamic startup ecosystem. This is due to our pro-innovation approach to internet regulation, specifically our adoption of Section 230 liability language.

Including similar language in USMCA and other trade agreements is hugely advantageous to US businesses, especially small businesses and startups.

Most importantly, it protects American small businesses from being sued by citizens of other countries for hosting third party speech like a bad restaurant review or criticism of a local politician.

More, Section 230 language in trade agreements promotes the American value of free expression and discourages our trading partners from engaging in internet censorship.

Inclusion of Section 230 language in trade agreements does not stop the US from changing the law in the future should choose to do so.

There is every reason to structure our trade agreements to protect American small business and innovators as well as US values such as free speech. We encourage Congress to ensure that Section 230 language remains part of the USMCA and future trade agreements.

Take Action: Tell Congress to protect online free speech.