NOTES: 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 is a professor of government at Cornell University and director of Cornell’s Tech Policy Lab. Her research focuses on the intersection of international politics, technology, and national security.

Kreps says:

Sarah Kreps

“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.”

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