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A Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement on the way? Intel outlines its views.

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By Christoph Luykx, Public Policy Manager Europe, and Daniel Keenan, Public Policy Intern Europe

This past week Intel submitted its response to the European Commission’s consultation on the future of EU-US trade and economic relations. Inputs from Intel and other stakeholders will help enable the European Commission and other policy-makers to gather detailed views on what priorities would be integral to any strategic, future trade and economic relationship between the US and the EU. This includes the ongoing bilateral discussion on trade but also a potential trade agreement between both economic powerhouses. 

As outlined in an earlier blogpost, Intel strongly encourages the EU and US to negotiate a realistic but comprehensive, cross sectoral, 21st century trade and investment agreement that can not only benefit both our economies, but also serve as a role model for the rest of the world. To achieve this goal, Intel supports a flexible framework, set up to allow the negotiation of general principles that apply to all industries or goods and services, and includes specific chapters that apply on a sectoral basis. In taking this approach, slow progress in removing barriers for one sector will not hamper progress in another.  

We believe there are a number of priorities that should be addressed in the ongoing bilateral discussions as well as in a potential comprehensive trade agreement: 

  • The EU and US should set the example bilaterally and in their dealings with third countries on how governments can ensure cross-border data flows while protecting legitimate privacy and security concerns. Therefore, we believe that one of the chapters in a comprehensive trade agreement should be a Transatlantic Services and Cross-Border Data Transfer Agreement.

  • Promoting a robust IP system with efficient and effective enforcement mechanisms, protection of trade secrets, and a “markets, not mandates” approach to copyright that would govern all content protection issues.

  • The need to continue coordination on various (cyber)security policies that third countries are creating. The goal is to ensure that these don’t disrupt the Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI). We specifically would like to see a chapter reflected in the new comprehensive agreement on guiding principles and best practices regarding security requirements and their relationship to market access issues. Intel supports the ongoing work within the EU–US cybersecurity working group and calls on both governments to intensify further their coordination.

  • Working to prohibit trade distortive requirements like forced localization requirements and committing both sides to push back on those measures wherever they occur in third countries. 

Intel also provided feedback on a number of other priorities, such as the restrictions on the transfer of foreground IP to other affiliated entities on publicly financed R&D & Innovation; interoperability efforts of E-health records; the joint commitment to the current arrangement for internet governance and ensuring that the internet eco-system remains open to innovation and commerce globally; resolving divergences in regulations and standards where feasible; potential joint EU and US efforts to promote due process for competition matters, supporting joint efforts to open bilateral and global procurement markets; and avoiding divergent policy approaches in coordination between EU and US with regards to the nascent Internet of Things (IoT). 

As the Transatlantic economic relationship is of crucial importance to Intel, we will continue our involvement and input into the EU and US administrations to make the comprehensive trade and investment agreement a reality.