Digital focus of Asia trade plan will help U.S. companies, allies

The United States and twelve other nations are joining forces to create a new alliance, termed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. One of its four main goals is paving the way for greater digital trade. 

Sarah Kreps, the John L. Wetherill Professor of Government in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of Cornell’s Tech Policy Lab, researches the intersection of international politics, technology, and national security. She says:

“Digital trade is one of the most promising yet to-be-determined aspects of the agreement. The U.S. economy and that of its partners in the Indo-Pacific are data dependent and tech heavy.  Easing the free flow of data across countries is a case of ‘rising tides lifting all boats’ – benefiting not just the U.S. economy but our partners in the region that we are trying to strengthen as a counterweight to China.

“The more these countries can trade with each other, the stronger economically and strategically they will be. The U.S. walking away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership suggests protectionist forces are strong but focusing narrowly on lowering barriers in the digital economy is an easier lift. This kind of agreement would provide a boon to American companies and help U.S. allies in a strategically important region,” says Kreps.

 For interviews contact Becka Bowyer, (607) 220-4185, rpb224@cornell.edu.

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