01 Dec 2017

DIGITALEUROPE supports an ambitious and timely Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Mercosur

DIGITALEUROPE supports an ambitious and timely Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Mercosur

DIGITALEUROPE, the leading association representing the digital technology industry in Europe, supports the European Commission in its endeavour to promote open and rules-based trade. In the face of mounting protectionist tendencies, the European Union has an important role to play in upholding the existing trade rules and demonstrating the benefits of trade by opening up further markets. This is particularly important with regard to digital trade: as the global economy has gone digital, the EU-Mercosur negotiations offer the opportunity to set ambitious standards for a predictable and strong framework in this area, i.e. with a digital trade chapter including provisions on data flows and data localization.

The negotiations between the EU and Mercosur play an essential role, demonstrating that trading partners are aligned in pushing for a more level playing field by removing barriers to trade. If successful, the FTA between the EU and Mercosur will cover an unprecedented market size, larger than any other FTA in force, realising and ending the 15 years of negotiations.

DIGITALEUROPE supports the European Commission’s efforts to reach a political agreement before the end of 2017, provided that an ambitious deal can be reached. High ambition implies a recognition of the importance of increased market access by means of tariff cuts, liberalisation of services sectors, securing the openness of procurement markets at the federal, as well as sub-federal level and agreeing upon strong trade rules to create a stable and predictable business framework.

Such trade rules have to include a digital trade chapter addressing data flows and data localization provisions. We will also continue to call for membership of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to be included in any free trade agreement negotiations with countries currently outside the ITA, as this is one of the more efficient ways of facilitating digitalisation.

The window of opportunity is now open: The digital technology industry has supported and will continue to support the Commission’s endeavour to successfully conclude an ambitious, 21st century agreement with the Mercosur countries.

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