The Developers Alliance joined fifteen other industry associations in a letter highlighting how the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) decision to withdraw its support for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) foundational positions on digital trade policy will have profoundly harmful effects for small businesses and consumers.
Washington, D.C., November 3, 2023 – The Developers Alliance has released the following statement addressing USTR’s unilateral decision to erect artificial barriers to digital trade.
- The WTO’s foundational digital priorities that the U.S. government has supported for so long are critical for small American innovators and consumers. These priorities protect encryption, enable cross-border data flows, limit data localization mandates, and protect source code. Large multinational firms may have the resources to navigate this new landscape, but small- and medium-sized businesses depend on these priorities to compete globally.
- Absent U.S. leadership in this arena, competitors abroad will fill the void and make it more difficult for American small- and medium-sized businesses to compete on a global stage.
- The unilateral decision USTR made must be reconsidered. If the U.S. government makes changes to its longstanding policy, it must first seek the public’s input and then execute those changes through standard policymaking procedures.
The following quote can be attributed to Geoffrey Lane, Head of U.S. Policy for the Developers Alliance:
“USTR’s decision is shortsighted and dangerous. The U.S. has a long history of being at the leading edge of tech policymaking both domestically and on a global scale. It’s critical that USTR signal its support for the WTO’s digital trade policies and make sure the voices of American innovators – especially small businesses – and consumers are heard abroad. The sweeping, unilateral decision USTR made must be rolled back. Decisions of this magnitude must be made through regular U.S. policymaking procedures, including consultation with stakeholders. We look forward to working with USTR to help it correct course.”
About The Developers Alliance
The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 75,000 developers.
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