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On November 2, CompTIA and Women in International Trade (WIIT) partnered on a well-attended Capitol Hill program on priority issues on the digital trade agenda. Congressman Dave Reichert, Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, opened the program, which included a government panel on the U.S. role in the digital economy and a private sector panel discussing challenges and opportunities for technology in trade.
Speakers on the government panel noted favorably that none of the three NAFTA parties had wavered in their commitment to modernizing digital trade. They discussed the range of efforts underway to empower entrepreneurs to innovate, to promote and give Americans access to innovation, and to defend U.S. leadership in the digital economy and tech space. Data localization trends were described as at the top of the list of issues the private sector is raising with government officials. Speakers also noted that while the U.S. takes a light-touch regulatory approach to digital, other countries sometimes take a “regulate first” approach. This has been particularly true with regard to Artificial Intelligence, with some countries proactively regulating to stop worst-case outcomes. Other topics taken up by the panel included reskilling needs for the jobs of the future and issues surrounding data privacy and data protection, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The private sector panel identified cybersecurity and cross-border data flows as key priorities within their broader objective of high-standard digital provisions. Speakers expressed hope that the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) could be reinvigorated, given the agreement’s ambitious approach to digital issues. In addition, speakers were supportive of the TPP-11 moving forward, albeit without the United States, to advance high-standard digital provisions in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s increasingly intrusive cyber-related measures, including “secure and controllable” requirements, were identified as a key area of concern. Along these lines, some hoped President Trump would have a greater focus on policy, rather than commercial deals, during his upcoming engagement with China’s leaders. Panelists identified APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules as another important objective in digital discussions.
Panelists included Kelly Ann Shaw, Trade Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means; Grace Koh, Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security at the National Economic Council; Winter Casey, Senior Advisor to the President at the White House Office of Science and Technology; Sahra English, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Mastercard; Danielle Gilliam-Moore, Manager, Federal Government Affairs at Salesforce; Jennifer Sanford, Senior Manager of International Trade and Energy/Environment Policy at Cisco Systems; and our moderators Kara Sutton, Senior Manager, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Patricia Wu, Managing Director at C&M International.
CompTIA is the sponsor of WIIT’s Capitol Hill Trade Education program this year. Our thanks to Leslie Griffin, WIIT President and Senior Vice President, International Public Policy at UPS, for partnership with CompTIA on the November 2 program. For more information, please contact Stefanie Holland.