The Case for Ambitious Services Market Access Commitments



Information Technology Industry Council, National Foreign Trade Council

Ongoing negotiating efforts have only gained in importance since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses and individuals across developed and developing economies have increased their reliance on a range of digital technologies and services. In a recent report, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that e-commerce orders increased 50 percent in Europe, 70 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, and 120 percent in the United States year-on-year, providing firms – most notably small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – access to customers across existing and new markets during this particularly challenging period.¹ More broadly, access to telecommunications networks, cloud processing, and digital communication is helping businesses maintain key operations and communicate with employees and clients while adhering to physical distancing requirements. Indeed, one survey found that throughout the pandemic, digitalization and automation accelerated across 85 percent of companies,² while one in three U.S. SMEs reported that their businesses would not have survived the pandemic without digital tools.³ Digital services, have also been critical to the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and other products that are essential to ending the pandemic, as well as the delivery of healthcare.


To read the original report from the Information Technology Industry Council and the National Foreign Trade Council, please visit here.