Global Data Alliance Expresses Dismay at USTR’s Reduced Attention to Cross-Border Data Barriers in the 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers

WASHINGTON– March 29, 2024 – The Global Data Alliance (GDA) is dismayed at the decision by the Office of the United States Trade Representative to reduce its discussion in the 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers of certain digital trade and cross-border data barriers that hurt US workers. Such barriers harm the interests of US workers who depend upon digitally-enabled exports in the agricultural, automotive, aviation, consumer goods, finance, film, health, hospitality, insurance, music, publishing, semiconductors, software, telecommunications, and other sectors.

USTR’s 2024 NTE Report appears to fail to fully recognize that American workers in all of these sectors depend upon cross-border access to information and the exports of digitally enabled goods and services. Restrictions on that access and to such exports threaten the 40 million American jobs supported by international trade and over $1 trillion in US digitally enabled goods and services exports. In short, when other governments erect barriers to US digitally enabled exports, they hurt millions of American workers that design, produce, and deliver them.

USTR’s deprioritization of these trade barriers raises questions about its commitment to the interests of all US workers and US enterprises. Given the lack of prior notice, this shift also signals yet another failure by USTR to consult with affected US stakeholders. Some of the digital trade barriers that USTR has chosen to disregard are particularly harmful to the 32.5 million US small businesses that account for 99.9% of all US businesses, 48% of all US workers (61.2 million workers), and 90% of all US business openings (exceeding 9 million new jobs each year), and 95% of all US exporting enterprises.

USTR’s neglect of digital trade barriers in the 2024 NTE Report also means less US government attention on the impact of such barriers on US job growth in sectors that depend on cross-border data and digital trade. This includes:

  • The 67 percent of new US science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs that are in computing and software; and
  • The nearly 16 million workers employed in software jobs in the United States, and the over 1 million new software positions remaining open to applicants.

At a time when foreign digital trade barriers have increased by more than 800 percent, USTR’s policy shift seems particularly misguided. Given the potential impacts on US economic interests and US workers, we call on the Biden Administration to exercise greater oversight over USTR.

For Media Inquiries


About the Global Data Alliance

The Global Data Alliance ( is a cross-industry coalition of companies that are committed to high standards of data responsibility and that rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to innovate and create jobs. Alliance members are headquartered across the globe and are active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, electronics, financial services, health, media and entertainment, natural resources, supply chain, and telecommunications sectors, among others. BSA | The Software Alliance administers the Global Data Alliance.