ACM Europe Council and U.S. Public Policy Council Address Computing Issues in EU-US Free Trade Agreement

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
August 4, 2014

The ACM Europe Council and the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council presented a consensus position on policy issues relevant to the computing field to negotiators of a new EU-U.S. free trade agreement. ACM Europe Council Chair Fabrizio Gagliardi delivered the remarks for consideration at the sixth round of negotiations for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement held in July in Brussels.

The proposed treaty addresses a broad range of trade issues between the European Union and the United States. The sixth round focused, in part, on defining the architecture of the intellectual property chapter. The negotiators also discussed e-commerce, trade in goods and services, and opportunities for small and medium enterprises. At the press conference at the conclusion of the negotiating round, U.S. Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney said that the negotiators are discussing specific text. EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero described this round of negotiations as “highly technical.”

The ACM Europe Council and the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council urged the negotiators to foster innovation of software and computing and to minimize barriers that could impede the economic potential of digital trade and Internet-based services. Nearly 400 stakeholders representing stakeholders in Europe and the United States attended the Stakeholder Forum. ACM was among fifteen stakeholders with dedicated time to present remarks during a session focused on digital services, intellectual property rights, and customs and trade facilitation.

The Stakeholder Forum took place the day before a 2-day session of the Transatlantic Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group, also held in Brussels. EU and U.S. trade officials met to discuss ways to strengthen intellectual property protections and enforcement. The parties agreed to continue to work on policy approaches that will benefit small and medium enterprises while ensuring that intellectual property owners are protected against counterfeit and pirated goods. The Working Group was established in 2005 and serves as a continuing forum for dialogue on intellectual property issues between the United States and the European Union. Its focus areas include customs cooperation, public-private partnerships, and intellectual property protections in third countries. The Working Group will meet again in summer 2015.

More information about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations is available from the European Commission and the U.S. Trade Representative.