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[IWS] USITC: DIGITAL TRADE IN THE U.S. AND GLOBAL ECONOMIES, PART 1 [15 August 2013]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Unites States International Trade Commission (USITC)
DIGITAL TRADE IN THE U.S. AND GLOBAL ECONOMIES, PART 1 [15 August 2013]
[full-text, 280 pages]
Press Release 15 August 2013
DIGITAL TRADE GROWING IN THE UNITED STATES AND GLOBALLY, SAYS USITC
Digital trade -- products and services delivered via the Internet -- makes up a growing segment of the U.S. economy and is increasing globally as well, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its publication Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 1.
The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report at the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The report is the first of two requested by the Committee. (The second report, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 2, will be completed in July 2014.)
As requested, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 1 provides information on the role of digital trade in both U.S. domestic commerce and international trade. It describes notable barriers and impediments to digital trade and outlines potential approaches for further assessing the role of digital trade in the economy. Highlights of the report follow.
- The Internet and Internet technologies benefit both producers and consumers. Producers gain from lower costs and more efficient business practices. Consumers benefit from improved access to products and services, more choice, and greater convenience.
- The leading companies with a large online presence are expanding their footprints in all aspects of the U.S. and global economies. As they expand their business operations, the products and services they offer are increasingly likely to include some, if not most, of the following: communications services (such as email, voice, and instant messaging), entertainment, social networking, information search/retrieval, productivity enhancement (including data storage and analysis, productivity-enhancing software, and logistics services), and e-commerce.
- All types of online content are growing, including music, games, videos, and books. The economic effects of digital trade on the U.S. economy vary by sector. For music, games, and videos, the share of digital sales has rapidly increased over the last few years, partially offsetting declines in revenues from physical sales. E-book sales are increasing as well, although revenue from e-books still accounts for a small share of total book sales.
- Social media websites are having widespread effects on the broader U.S. economy. Social networking and user review sites increasingly act as advertising and marketing venues as they become more integrated with online content providers. Retailers account for a large portion of the advertising revenues earned by social networking sites.
- Technologies such as cloud computing -- the delivery of software and other computer services via the Internet are transforming the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) services. Cloud computing services allow companies to outsource their use of ICT products and services more easily and flexibly. Small firms, in particular, benefit from no longer having to make costly investments in ICT infrastructure and computing capacity.
- Internet technologies have transformed how most goods and services in the economy are produced by helping firms lower their costs and operate more efficiently while giving consumers improved access to a wider range of products and services. Services industries that have innovatively used Internet technologies to improve their customer interface and back-end operations include retail, logistics, financial, professional, healthcare, and education services.
- U.S. exports of digitally enabled services (one measure of international digital trade) grew from $282.1 billion in 2007 to $356.1 billion in 2011, with exports exceeding imports every year during that period. Europe, with its strong Internet infrastructure, is the most important regional trading partner for the United States. Europe is also an important destination for U.S. digital trade-related foreign direct investment.
- Notable barriers and impediments to digital trade identified by industry representatives and experts included concerns about localization requirements, divergent data privacy and protection rules, inadequate intellectual property protection and unclear legal frameworks, growing online censorship, and traditional impediments such as burdensome customs procedures that particularly impact small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Studies that have quantified the economic contributions of the Internet have generally found that it has made significant contributions to U.S. output, employment, consumer welfare, trade, innovation, productivity, and corporate financial performance.
Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 1 (Inv. No. 332-531, USITC publication 4415, July 2013) is available on the USITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4415.pdf. The report may also be requested by emailing email@example.com, by calling 202-205-2000, or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.
USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the USITC's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The USITC makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.
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