ICYMI: Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urge President Biden to Support American Tech Companies in the Face of Discriminatory EU Regulations

Washington, D.C. (12/18/2023) – A new piece in Reuters highlights a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden signed by 21 members of Congress that underscores the importance of the American tech industry to the United States and describes how new European regulations, which unfairly target some of our country’s most successful tech companies, pose a serious threat to the U.S. economy, national security, and innovation: 

“A bipartisan group of lawmakers has written to U.S. President Joe Biden, warning European technology regulation could threaten U.S. interests…

“…Under the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), five major U.S. tech companies – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft — were designated ‘gatekeeper’ service providers…

“…In a letter shared exclusively with Reuters, 21 members of the U.S. House of Representatives warned the new rules could damage American economic and security interests, and called on Biden to secure commitments from the EU that the rules will be enforced fairly…”

In the letter, lawmakers argue that the E.U.’s DMA unfairly discriminates against American tech companies: “The EU…has repeatedly applied one set of rules to American companies and a different, more favorable set of rules to European and other foreign firms, including Russian and Chinese firms.” 

The DMA, they argue, presents a clear threat to American interests and would benefit our foreign rivals, like China and Russia: “The stated purposes of the EU’s digital agenda of protecting consumers and competition appears suspect given its recent decisions to disproportionately target U.S.-based companies, while excluding European and most other foreign-based companies..the EU’s digital agenda will cost American businesses $97 billion, including $45 billion on small businesses…The DMA…fails to protect consumers or to increase competition, and ultimately makes America less globally competitive and less secure…”

Ultimately, the Biden administration should step in and support American tech companies facing discriminatory regulations abroad: “We strongly urge you to advocate for American companies and workers by insisting that EU policymakers administer and enforce their digital policies fairly.”

As a report released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation just last week demonstrates, the stakes could not be higher when it comes to promoting our nation’s ability to compete globally in this sector. The report, which highlighted China’s fierce competition across many key industries, offered this stark warning about the importance of global competition in the IT and information services industry more broadly: 

“However, the mix has changed, with the IT and information services share growing 34 percent since 2002. The fact that the overall share of the global economy comprising this advanced industry output has not changed underscores the zero-sum competition between nations. Indeed, there is a noticeable correlation between strength in these industries and nations’ balance of trade…

“Nations are, or at least should be, competing intensively for a greater share of this fixed pie. China certainly is. For the United States, losing this race, either because policymakers are indifferent to the country’s industrial structure or because they choose to focus on other economic or societal goals, would be catastrophic…Time is short. The 2020s are likely to be the decisive decade in which to turn around U.S. advanced industry fortunes, because once China gains sufficient global market share, allied and U.S. production risks being permanently weakened.”

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