ICYMI: USTR Secures Extension on E-Commerce Moratorium at MC13

March 06, 2024

WASHINGTON – Congressman Richard Neal (MA-01), House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member, and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Co-Chair of the Digital Trade Caucus, last week applauded U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s leadership in accomplishing an extension of the e-commerce moratorium at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Thirteenth Ministerial Conference (MC13). The e-commerce moratorium is a measure which restricts countries from applying customs duties on electronic transmissions. Ambassador Tai’s statement on MC13 can be viewed here.
Congressman Neal’s and Congresswoman DelBene’s full statements:

Statement from Congressman Richard Neal (MA-01):

“The World Trade Organization hosted another successful Ministerial Conference, and with the complexities of today’s trade issues, continuing multilateral conversations are more important than ever. The legacy and stability of WTO as a platform for constructively addressing global challenges and connecting economies requires attention and commitment to fulfill its founding principles and deliver on its promise. The accessions of two new Members, Comoros and Timor-Leste, reflect the global relevancy and value of the WTO, which will only continue to grow as the reform agenda takes hold.

“United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai continues to steadfastly represent the United States, and was instrumental in the renewal of WTO’s long-standing e-commerce moratorium that supports global business growth. I commend Ambassador Tai for her commitment to our trade priorities: strengthening transparency, modernizing the WTO, and reforming the dispute settlement system. Reform must address long-standing American concerns, and while I welcome this Ministerial’s progress, work remains to see our agenda fully realized.

“The Committee’s Trade Staff Director and Chief Trade Counsel, Alexandra Whittaker, represented the Committee at MC13, meeting with trading partners, WTO officials, industry stakeholders, and civil society.

“Ways and Means Democrats remain committed to advancing an inclusive, durable trade agenda that enables American workers, farmers, and businesses to succeed while strengthening workers’ rights, promoting sustainable environmental practices, and ensuring strong enforcement of our trade commitments.”
Statement from Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01):

“I commend U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and the rest of the Biden administration’s strong leadership at the WTO on delivering a key victory for American workers and our economy. The renewal of this longstanding tariff prohibition will ensure Americans are protected from new fees on products from music streaming and video game downloads to emails and text messages to friends and family abroad. This agreement will also enable businesses of all sizes in Washington and across our country to continue to reach new customers outside our borders.”