Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations in Washington, D.C. on May 19-23, 2014

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
April 30, 2014

The 5th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations will take place in the Washington, D.C. area from May 19-23, 2014. Stakeholders are invited to provide their viewpoints on the proposed U.S.-EU trade agreement and to hear from the Chief Negotiators on Wednesday, May 21. The negotiating teams will discuss a broad range of trade issues between the United States and European Union, including intellectual property rights and digital trade.

In prior comments to the U.S. Trade Representative, the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council outlined three principles for trade provisions relevant to intellectual property rights, electronic commerce, and information and communication technology services. Digital trade and internet-based products and services are important components of the global economy. Across every major industry and across society broadly, new developments in these areas have created countless new jobs, products, and services; have accelerated the speed, scope, and scale of innovation generally; have resulted in diverse consumer products and growing consumer demand; and have facilitated advanced manufacturing and big data analytics vital to U.S. businesses being leaders in the global economy. Trade policies should foster and encourage a wide variety of digital technologies and services to emerge within a competitive marketplace.

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council urges the negotiators to consider the following three principles:

1. Balance Intellectual Property Protection with Relevant Private and Public Interests
Adequate protection of intellectual property requires carefully balancing various interests. The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council is committed to ensuring that intellectual property rights are protected. How those rights are enforced can have unintended negative consequences, including blocking legitimate uses of intellectual property. Policymakers must ensure that fair uses of intellectual property are preserved. Fair use rights ensure that researchers, students, people with disabilities, and others can effectively exchange knowledge and information for legitimate purposes.

2. Promote Innovation and Competitiveness
Whether it is within computing fields and industry or across society broadly, computing technology is driving innovation. New developments in computing have created new jobs, products, and services, and have spurred the increased speed, scope, and scale of innovation. Advances in computing have facilitated the collection, organization, and analysis of information in many different fields of research and development. Public policy should foster and encourage a wide variety of technological advancements, approaches, and systems to emerge within a competitive marketplace. The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council encourages policymakers to adopt policies that narrowly address specific user behaviors, rather than broadly prohibiting technologies because of their potential for undesirable use.

3. Preserve Data Privacy of Individuals
As society embraces new technologies and increases interaction with the data and systems these technologies entail, the issues of security and privacy in computing become increasingly paramount. Striking a balance between individual privacy rights and valid government and commercial needs is a complex challenge facing technologists and policymakers, but one of vital importance. Computing techniques are available today that can meet many private sector and government needs, while fully embracing the data privacy principles of minimization, consent, openness, access, accuracy, security, and accountability.

For additional information on the 5th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations in Arlington, Virginia on May 19-23, 2014, visit: