13 Jul 2016

DIGITALEUROPE Statement Green light to move on data flows

DIGITALEUROPE Statement Green light to move on data flows

This week in Brussels and in Geneva, European (EU) negotiators are meeting with their trading partners for the next Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiating rounds. DIGITALEUROPE continues to support the conclusion of both agreements in 2016, provided they are comprehensive, ambitious and contain a strong comprehensive Digital Trade agenda.

The recent adoption of the EU-US Privacy Shield is an important element to help rebuild trust between the EU and the US in on cross-border data flows. We believe now the time has come to step up the discussions on provisions that ensure data flows and ban forced data localisation, in both TTIP and TiSA as well as any future trade negotiations. These two elements are the foundation of a broader Digital Trade discipline and should be respected globally.

The EU « Trade for All Strategy » published in 2015 confirmed the importance of Digital Trade for the EU economy as an offensive interest. Without such provisions the EU industry risks falling behind its competitors in other locations who can rely on the forthcoming digitally-pioneering Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. DIGITALEUROPE calls upon the European Commission to press ahead and come to the table.

From the very beginning DIGITALEUROPE has said that a Digital Trade discipline has to respect data privacy rules: data flows in trade agreements are not about negotiating data privacy rules; it is about ensuring Europe can reap the benefits of the data economy. This can and should happen in respect of privacy rules and without any lowering of standards.

At a time when there is growing public criticism on trade, it is important to address topics that actually make a difference to all our citizens and to SMEs. Digital Trade and an open Internet as we know it today are amongst those elements, because they are the enablers for society and the economy at large.

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