Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) launched the Congressional Digital Trade Caucus Monday to promote a U.S. trade policy that works in the digital economy.

Digital trade accounts for more than half of U.S. service exports. The United States runs a $159 billion trade surplus in digitally-deliverable services, which is responsible for 7.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and nearly 6.7 million American jobs.

In addition to educating lawmakers, the Digital Trade Caucus aims to:

  • Promote a free and open internet to support the digital needs of manufacturers and service providers;
  • Promote free cross-border data flows;
  • Eliminate data localization requirements;
  • Ensure trading partners allow open online and cloud platforms by not requiring them to filter speech;
  • Eliminate requirements that businesses transfer technology, source code or encryption keys;
  • And address customs and trade facilitation barriers for e-commerce.

“As a strong advocate for a robust trade agenda, I believe we need to be engaged, lead, and on the forefront of this latest frontier in the global, 21st-century economy,” said Congressman Paulsen. “This new bipartisan caucus will ensure continued American leadership in the digital economy by promoting trade policies that harness the power of the Internet and technology to reach new customers around the world.”