Last week, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) were joined by a group of colleagues to introduce a bipartisan, bicameral resolution outlining the importance of the U.S. digital economy and the need for greater U.S. leadership on digital trade negotiations with like-minded countries.
“In today’s hyper-connected world, the U.S. finds itself at a critical moment,” said Senator Young. “Digital trade is becoming the new frontier in economic strength, particularly in the post-pandemic economy. It is time to prioritize connectivity and the subsequent adoption of digital governance to shape regional norms and provide an alternative to restrictive policies promoted by our adversaries like China. As the U.S. is positioned to lead in the digital space, our resolution calls for American leadership on digital trade rules in order to secure 21st century opportunities for Hoosiers, small businesses, manufacturers, and domestic service industries.”
“The digital economy has grown tremendously over the last decade, and this evolution isn’t just benefitting consumers — it’s also creating new jobs and enabling small businesses to thrive. It’s critical that the United States takes the charge and leads the global effort to advance forward-looking digital trade policies,” said Senator Carper. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan resolution that calls on the United States to engage with our partners around the world to develop and promote digital trade policies that uplift workers and businesses, while advancing democratic values.”
In 2020, U.S. exports of digital services surpassed $520 billion, accounting for more than half of all U.S. services exports and generating a digital services trade surplus of $214 billion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand and reliance on digital technologies and services, data flows, and e-commerce has only increased.
Accordingly, the resolution calls for the U.S. 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 digital barriers and ensure that the United States 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 addition to Senators Young and Carper, the resolution was cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas). A companion resolution led by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), and Ami Bera (D-Calif.) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Legislative text for the resolution can be found here.