Today is the final day to submit comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on modernization of NAFTA — comments were extended by several days “due to high interest.” The opportunity to comment on updating a key trade agreement, reflecting the significant change in the economy in the past two decades since it was enacted, has already attracted submissions from hundreds of organizations, companies, and individuals.
Digital trade issues may produce some of the most important updates to NAFTA. Despite being one of the largest trade agreements in which the United States participates, it largely predates the transformation of the U.S. economy into a digital economy. It therefore doesn’t fully address issues like balanced copyright, data localization, and online liability protections. As a result, a large part of what the United States actually exports does not benefit from the agreement. This is the first in a series of posts focusing on digital issues that will be relevant in the reexamination of NAFTA.
Balanced copyright, including limitations and exceptions like fair use, has been key to growing the U.S. digital economy, and is an important component of digital trade.