A coalition of tech groups is urging the House to approve legislation granting President Obama fast-track trade powers ahead of a vote on Friday.
The tech groups, which have traditionally been supporters of free trade, say fast-track, or trade promotion authority (TPA), will help their companies grow in a globalized economy.
“TPA will create a gold standard framework for global trade that is reflective of today’s digital economy and the growing importance of the technology and Internet sectors,” the groups wrote in the letter to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The signatories to the letter include the heads of the Information Technology Industry Council, Consumer Electronics Association, BSA | The Software Alliance, Telecommunications Industry Association, Technology CEO Council, Software and Information Industry Association, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TechNet and the Semiconductor Industry Association.
They say that the deal would have wide ranging effects on the tech industry, both in terms of protecting traditional forms of trade and on issues related to how data is handled.
“It creates strong new provisions against forced localization measures, and protects cross-border data flows, ensuring the burgeoning demand for our companies’ digital goods and services is not thwarted by foreign governments before it is fully developed,” the groups said.
The measures in question would prevent countries from demanding that American companies doing business overseas store data locally and govern the way data can be sent from country to country.
The letter comes as the House prepares to consider whether to give President Obama the power to approve trade deals but allows Congress to approve them with an up-or-down vote.
Most House Democrats are expected to vote against fast-track, despite furious lobbying by the White House.
The measure passed the Senate last month in a 62-37 vote.