WASHINGTON (April 16, 2010) – The Trilateral Committee on Transborder Data Flows released a report today on leading impediments to data flows across North America. It is critical to international trade that data flows freely across borders. This report underscores the importance of the work the Department of Commerce is doing on privacy and innovation in the Internet economy and the Intra-agency Internet Policy Task Force. The mission of the Task Force is to identify leading public policy and operational challenges in the Internet environment. This Task Force is studying – among other issues -- how international data privacy laws and regulations affect global Internet commerce, companies’ compliance costs and product development.
ITA plays an important role promoting the right policy framework to facilitate the free flow of data across borders as well as the growth of electronic commerce and international trade. ITA took the initiative to work with its counterparts in Canada and Mexico on this report to better understand the barriers that U.S. companies face when dealing with data flow issues related to trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
“I am encouraged by the collaborative work that has been done to identify these impediments to free flow of information and international trade,” said Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary for International Trade. “I am confident that we can work together with the North American business community to overcome these barriers.”
The Trilateral Committee was established in April 2008 as a forum for dialogue between the business community and the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico on ways to address problems that inhibit cross-border services trade and information flows. The Committee aims to provide a strategic direction for addressing these problems and underscore the importance of free information flows in support of a growing and efficient North American market.
To accomplish this, the Committee held a series of stakeholder consultation sessions with the business communities, civil and law societies and academia in each country to identify barriers to transborder data flow that affect economic growth. The Committee also worked with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) to survey IAPP members on costs of impediments to cross-border data flows. The results of these consultations and the IAPP survey are included in the Committee report.
The Trilateral Committee is composed of representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission, Industry Canada, and the Ministry of Economy in Mexico. The Committee report and additional information regarding the Committee’s work is available at each country’s Trilateral Committee website:
United States – www.export.gov/infotech
Canada – http://www.ic.gc.ca/ecom/trilateral
Mexico – www.edigital.economia.gob.mx/TBDF.htm