Digital Trade Discussions Suspended Ahead of Indo-Pacific Meeting

U.S. Trade Representative Tai makes room for more permanent Congressional action.

President Biden’s administration suspended digital trade negotiations that would have taken place at the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) meeting next week, saying that they needed to allow Congress to solidify American laws negotiating international trade agreements on digital data and code. This decision reflects the change made by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai a month ago, who withdrew America’s digital trade demands at the World Trade Organization for similar reasons.

President Biden’s administration is still interested in codifying the free flow of data across international borders but admitted that Congress has yet to pass laws to more strictly regulate technology on the domestic front. Once the administration made the decision to suspend digital trade negotiations, five senators and seven representatives sent President Joe Biden a letter showing their support.

The federal legislators wrote, “We thank you for suspending negotiations on aspects of the IPEF digital text that can be used to frustrate privacy, AI, civil rights and liberties, anti-monopoly, gig worker and other digital safeguards that Congress and the administration seek.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai as they engage foreign trade ministers and partners at the summit.
  • For President Biden as he prepares to meet with President Xi Jinping of China in San Francisco.

Sources: Reuters, The Hill


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