The Internet Association, a trade group that represents several influential web companies, has endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
“The Internet industry is encouraged that the TPP recognizes the Internet as an essential American export, and supports the agreement's passage,” Michael Beckerman, the association’s president, said in a statement Wednesday.
Beckerman praised the agreement’s provisions related to how data is sent across borders, as well as its copyright language.
“For too long, U.S. trade agreements have failed to reflect the balance of U.S. copyright law under which individual creators, right holders, Internet platforms and users have all benefitted,” he said. “The TPP is a move in the right direction.”
Major tech groups have long supported the trade deal, which is backed by the Obama administration. Many large, multinational tech companies see it as a potential boon for their business.
But the Internet Association had been a holdout. Its membership includes companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook, as well as firms in emerging sectors like the on-demand economy.
Some players in the tech community have also opposed the deal.
The legislative path forward for the trade deal is still difficult. The deal has faced opposition from progressives in Congress, and the politicized environment around the 2016 election has made congressional action far less likely.