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DelBene, LaHood, Bera, Chabot Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Promote the U.S. Digital Economy and Digital Trade

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Washington, D.C., July 28, 2022 | comments

Today, Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Ami Bera (CA-07), and Steve Chabot (OH-01) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution outlining the importance of the U.S. digital economy and greater U.S. leadership on digital trade negotiations with like-minded countries.

The resolution calls for the White House to negotiate strong, inclusive, forward-looking, and enforceable rules on digital trade and the digital economy with like-minded countries as part of a broader trade and economic strategy to address trade barriers and ensure that the American values of democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, human and worker rights, privacy, and a free and open internet are at the very core of the digital world and advanced technology.

“In the 21st century, the U.S. should be rule makers, not rule takers, for the global digital economy. Digital trade is far more than just the tech sector. It supports nearly 8 million American jobs and is especially important to Washington state’s tech, agriculture, and manufacturing industries. This resolution encourages the U.S. to pursue digital trade chapters in broader trade and economic agreements that also emphasize strong labor and environmental provisions,” said DelBene, Vice Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee. “Without American leadership in this space now, we risk an unchecked China with its dangerous example built around censorship and surveillance.”

“Digital trade is an engine for economic growth and a vehicle to promote American values and standards around the world,” said Rep. LaHood, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee. “Supporting free and open digital trade policies will support our broader trade and economic strategy, help U.S. industries remain competitive in the global marketplace, and support our national security interests. As co-chair of the bipartisan Digital Trade Caucus, along with Rep. Suzan DelBene, I will continue to advocate for a robust and proactive trade agenda that strengthens the American economy and empowers the US to work with our partners and allies to set rules and standards in the evolving digital trade marketplace.”

“Without U.S. leadership and engagement in negotiations, there is no guarantee that digital trade policies impacting the U.S. will be pro-worker, pro-consumer, or pro-small business,” said Bera, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation. “It is critical to advance policy efforts that will ensure workers are treated fairly, consumers’ privacy is protected, and that small businesses have the digital tools they need to create good jobs. This resolution supports a forward-looking and enforceable digital trade agreement with like-minded countries, including with our partners in the Indo-Pacific, to ensure the digital world embodies the democratic values we champion.”

“Expanding digital trade through high-standards agreements would bring untold benefits to American consumers, workers, and small businesses,” said Chabot, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation. “As the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific subcommittee, I see this as particularly critical in the Indo-Pacific where countries are eager for increased U.S. economic engagement. And it is imperative that we are at the table to write the rules of the road, because our absence would bolster China’s efforts to spread digital authoritarianism throughout the Indo-Pacific and directly challenge to our values in the region.”

“If the United States isn’t leading on trade, we’re falling behind – which is especially true in the digital economy. We are at a crossroads of standard-setting in the digital sector – particularly when it comes to digital trade – and it is paramount the United States and our like-minded allies are shaping high-standard, forward-looking, and enforceable policies that reflect our values. We cannot leave it to nations like China. We have our work cut out for us, and I thank my colleagues for the opportunity to co-lead this bipartisan, bicameral resolution to outline how the U.S. can foster economic prosperity through digital trade,” said Adrian Smith, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

The resolution was cosponsored by Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Ranking Member Adrian Smith (NE-3). A companion resolution in the Senate was led by Senators Young (IN) and Carper (DE) and is cosponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (OR) and Mike Crapo (ID), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ben Cardin (MD), and John Cornyn (TX).

A copy of the resolution can be found here

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