WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) recently sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo regarding the upcoming negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), warning the Administration that Big Tech gatekeepers will try to weaponize U.S. trade policy to protect their monopoly power.
“As you develop the U.S. opening offer and formulate a strategy to negotiate the digital trade chapter of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), we urge you to ensure that the formal U.S. position for the rules that will govern the global digital economy advances fairness and competition rather than undermining it,” the letter opened.
“We commend the Biden Administration’s commitment in the domestic arena to policies that promote competition to build a more resilient economy for the benefit of American businesses, consumers, and workers. As President Biden stated in his July 2021 Executive Order, ‘Robust competition is critical to preserving America’s role as the world’s leading economy.’”
In the letter, the Coalition went on to explain their concern regarding Big Tech’s past attempts to co-opt trade policy to protect and entrench their monopoly power. At issue are non-discrimination rules, which are critical to trade agreements but can, if written too broadly, provide a basis for U.S. Big Tech monopolies to attack legitimate anti-monopoly policies in other countries as “illegal trade barriers.”
The letter continued, “As a bipartisan group of Senators recently pointed out, international trade agreements such as IPEF that bind the United States on matters of international trade also limit Congress’s domestic law-making ability. Accordingly, the Coalition is concerned that the dominant tech platforms, such as Google and Apple, will try to use IPEF as a backdoor mechanism to tie the Administration’s and Congress’s hands as they grapple with critical big tech regulatory and legislative reform.”
Read the full letter here.
About the Coalition for App Fairness
The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization formed to protect consumer choice, foster competition, and create a level playing field for all app and game developers globally. Originally formed by Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Proton, Skydemon, Spotify, and Tile, CAF has rapidly grown from 13 to over 70 members since launching in September 2020. CAF offers membership to companies of any size — join today at appfairness.org.
January 12, 2023