Trade Pact Trails Technology Advances

The U.S. media, in their endless attempts to cast dramas rather than report on issues, has succeeded in oversimplifying the newly-passed General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. That's easy to do with a document that outweighs a full set of Funk &amp Wagnalls, but some of the agreement's nuances just don't boil down to the Democrats vs. Republicans charade - hence the decidedly incongruous bipartisan support it won as it sailed through Congress.

The U.S. media, in their endless attempts to cast dramas rather than report on issues, has succeeded in oversimplifying the newly-passed General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. That's easy to do with a document that outweighs a full set of Funk &amp Wagnalls, but some of the agreement's nuances just don't boil down to the Democrats vs. Republicans charade - hence the decidedly incongruous bipartisan support it won as it sailed through Congress.

The agreement will:

  • Improve the climate for international trade, and upspike the economy - but in high-technology sectors, the spike won't register. The high-tech industry already has forged its own product agreements of sorts based on market forces.

  • Provoke a number of countries to pay attention to the same - albeit insufficient - environmental regulations U.S. industry has to balance with its bottom line. Again, high technology's endgain is incremental, since information technology companies, post-manufacturing stage, don't produce many polluting products.

  • Make some inroads toward curbing rampant intellectual property ripoffs - but only those with the tangible stamp of trademarks, copyrights and patents. So, the software industry will benefit from any global anti-piracy provisos, but the agreement won't do much at all with some of the thorny, unresolved property problems content providers face on global networks. That's more a function of patent laws that haven't kept up with technology benchmarks and world views than the sudden "globalization" of networks.

  • Open up the service industry, around which much of information technology business revolves, to the global market - though no one really "closed" the market in the first place; ask Beltway companies what percentage of their clients are international.

The agreement will not:

  • Resolve intellectual property issues - really, innovation issues - at the small-business level or, as mentioned, at the cyberspace level. Through the fixed 20-year patent -term limit, the biotechnology and academic research communities and independent inventors could lose big. Multinational corporations already have their own trade agreements and are rarely border-loyal.

  • Open up the Japanese market, including its federal information infrastructure market, or any other market in which Japanese firms, high-tech or otherwise, have established market share and dominance.

By and large, the information technology industry - at least, the non-manufacturing aspects of it - is already globalized, and was so before NAFTA or GATT.

The United States should not be swept up by the apparent comprehensiveness of the agreement, and be ready to retrench and re-evaluate some of is domestic, internal legal structures that have hindered U.S. competitiveness - patent laws, intellectual property. In many ways, GATT was a fait accompli, an attempt to catch up to where industry had already been, not where it is headed.


X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.