Washington, D.C. – In response to USTR’s announcement  that the United States would drop support for World Trade Organization e-commerce proposals, Global Innovation Forum Executive Director Hua Wang released the following reaction:

“The U.S. government’s decision to step back from championing key elements of a digital economy agenda at the World Trade Organization raises questions about the United States’ commitment to supporting small businesses and helping them build and grow their companies in the digital realm.

“According to a 2022 Global Innovation Forum report, nearly 90% of small businesses view digital tools and technologies as essential to doing business internationally.

“Without U.S. leadership on these issues, U.S. SME exporters will be left on their own to  satisfy a myriad of data localization requirements and other measures that add unnecessary complexity and detrimental costs and burdens on small businesses, which have the fewest resources for understanding and complying with these digital trade barriers.”