Enacting TPP will Grow America’s Digital Trade & Cultural Exports

July 14, 2016

The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to discuss “Expanding U.S. Digital Trade and Eliminating Barriers to U.S. Digital Exports.” The hearing was an important reminder that enacting the TPP will allow America’s creative industries to expand their cultural exports and create even more jobs here at home by knocking down market access barriers and protecting IP.

Subcommittee Chairman Reichert highlighted the rapid growth of digital trade, observing that U.S. companies “lead the world in creating digital products and content.”

I agree with him one hundred percent. The U.S. film and television industry leads the world in creating exciting and in demand digital content. Filmmakers in the U.S. are distributing movies and TV shows to audiences around the entire world on more than 480 online viewing platforms. The ability to operate in foreign markets at that scale allowed the American film and television industry to register $16.3 billion in exports worldwide in 2014, running a positive services trade surplus of over $13 billion. That economic activity helps support nearly two million U.S. jobs that pay $121 billion in total wages.

Open markets and robust IP protections are critical to this success. We are ardent supporters of the TPP because it will strengthen IP protections and tear down many of these commercial obstacles, fostering the continued growth of our industry’s digital marketplace and related economic impact in all fifty states.

As Chairman Reichert explained, “Inadequate protection of intellectual property rights such as digital piracy of media or software hurts our innovative companies. Trade agreements can be an effective tool to lower these and other barriers, and open markets for America’s digital products.”

The TPP is an economic priority for our industry and we are pleased that the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee held the hearing to discuss the importance of digital trade. We look forward to working with lawmakers and other industry stakeholders to ensure that the TPP is fully enacted.