September 13, 2016

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Tech Leaders Urge Congressional Passage of Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2016

Washington — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today joined with 12 other technology organizations to urge Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2016.

In a letter to the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress, the leaders wrote: “This is a historic opportunity to expand U.S. economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific.  Failure to pass this agreement will not only disadvantage American companies and the Americans who work for those companies, it will hamper the ability to negotiate new agreements, or even improve existing ones.  Our allies and trading partners in Asia are also looking to the U.S. for leadership in the global economy.  Passing the TPP will demonstrate the U.S. remains unambiguously committed to free trade and to strong leadership in the region.  For these strategic reasons, we urge you to work with the Administration to reach an agreement that will secure passage of TPP in 2016.”

The letter was signed by Linda Moore, president and CEO of TechNet, as well as the leaders of Allied for Startups; BSA | The Software Alliance; Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA); Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); Consumer Technology Association (CTA); Information Technology Industry Council (ITI); Internet Association; Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA); Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA); Technology CEO Council; and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

TPP was negotiated among the United States and 11 Pacific Rim trading partners.  TPP makes key improvements to international agreements around:

  • Preventing data localization
  • Prohibiting digital customs duties
  • Supporting cross-border data flows
  • Sustaining cybersecurity and encryption
  • Barring forced technology transfers

The text of the letter can be found here and below.

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan
The House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
The House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leaders McConnell, Pelosi, and Reid:

On behalf of the hundreds of dynamic and innovative companies in the tech sector, which employ millions of Americans, our associations call on Congress to work with the Administration to reach an agreement that would allow passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this year.

The TPP has the potential to provide significant benefits to the tech sector and the entire U.S. economy.  The 12 nations that are part of the agreement are among the fastest-growing economies in the world and account for 40 percent of global gross domestic product.  U.S. technology companies alone exported $10 billion in goods and services to the TPP markets in 2014.  The TPP will open or expand access to these key markets for the products, services, and applications made by the companies we represent, and facilitate market access for the wide array of industries that rely on these technologies to conduct their own businesses.

This agreement creates a new standard for trade pacts with its forward-looking approach on technology products and services going far beyond just tariff reductions.  The agreement will keep borders open to the free flow of data, provide a strong and balanced intellectual property framework, prohibit data localization requirements and other barriers to digital trade, and protect trade secrets, among many other benefits.  And it promotes U.S. values of a free and open Internet.

This is a historic opportunity to expand U.S. economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific.  Failure to pass this agreement will not only disadvantage American companies and the Americans who work for those companies, it will hamper the ability to negotiate new agreements, or even improve existing ones.  Our allies and trading partners in Asia are also looking to the U.S. for leadership in the global economy.  Passing the TPP will demonstrate the U.S. remains unambiguously committed to free trade and to strong leadership in the region.  For these strategic reasons, we urge you to work with the Administration to reach an agreement that will secure passage of TPP in 2016.

Thank you in advance for your leadership and support of free trade.  We request that you intensify your focus on the greater purpose at this critical juncture and pass TPP this year.

Sincerely,

Melissa Blaustein, Founder and CEO, Allied for Startups

Victoria A. Espinel, President and CEO, BSA/The Software Alliance

Ed Black, President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Dean Garfield, President and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

Michael Beckerman, President and CEO, Internet Association (IA)

John Neuffer, President and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)

Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)

Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

Linda Moore, President and CEO, TechNet

Bruce Mehlman, Executive Director, Technology CEO Council (TCC)

Scott Belcher, CEO, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

cc:        

Chairman Kevin Brady

Chairman Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member Sander M. Levin

Ranking Member Ron Wyden

About TechNet
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, and Austin.

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