Skip to Content

Telecom & E-Commerce

Laptop & CellUSTR's Telecommunications and E-Commerce section covers trade policy issues that affect U.S. business interests related to telecommunications services, computer services, and electronic commerce.

The U.S. is a global leader in the information and communication technologies services sectors, with exports and foreign-affiliate sales exceeding $120 billion in 2007.

Greater trade in this sector will help to grow the U.S. economy, and promote global economic development as the use of information and communication technologies increases countries' abilities to promote innovation, to improve productivity, and to lower transaction costs.

United States-European Union Trade Principles For Information and Communication Technology Services

A U.S. government negotiating team led by the Office of the United States Trade Representative reached agreement with the European Commission on April 4, 2011 on a set of non-binding trade-related principles for information and communication technology (ICT) services. The United States and the European Union (EU) will jointly promote the adoption of these principles by other countries.

The principles agreed to will, if widely adopted, support the global development of ICT services, including Internet and other network-based applications that are critical to innovative e-commerce, Internet search and advertising, data storage, and other services. The principles address transparency in legislation and regulation; open access to networks and applications; the free flow of information across borders; foreign investment in ICT sectors; facilitating the cross-border supply of services; the efficiency of spectrum allocation; the independence of regulatory authorities; the granting of operating licenses; interconnection between suppliers of basic public telecommunication services; and international cooperation. Each of the principles expresses an approach to policy and regulation in the ICT sector that is broadly shared by the United States and the EU.

The text of the principles can be found here.