August 16 | BY: ALEXIS KRAMER
Amid political debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact is an underlying dispute over whether the accord is essential for digital trade growth.
There is also continuing uncertainty over the fate of the deal itself. It has been signed by trade ministers from each of the 12 Pacific Rim countries, which represent 40 percent of the world GDP, but it hasn’t yet been ratified.
The technology sector, including companies such as IBM Corp. and eBay Inc., believes the TPP’s electronic commerce chapter in particular will have a beneficial impact on companies and consumers by removing barriers to the free flow of information.
Meanwhile, some nonprofit groups have expressed concern that the intellectual property chapter’s section on internet service providers isn’t sufficiently flexible and that certain digital rights provisions may pose technological barriers to people with disabilities.
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