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Progressive Policy Institute

Progressive Policy Institute

Progressive Policy Institute

ICYMI: PPI Event Wrap-up, “Growing the Transatlantic Digital Economy”

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Under Secretary of State NovelliWASHINGTON—The Progressive Policy Instiute hosted an event with The Lisbon Council last Friday aimed at finding ways to grow the transatlantic digital economy. With both sides of the Atlantic, particularly Europe, facing a slow economic recovery and even the prospect of secular stagnation, a thriving digital economy and transatlantic trade can spur much-needed growth and job creation.

Growing the Transatlantic Digital Economy: How Trade, Data and Better Internet Governance Can Drive Economic Recovery featured keynote addresses by Ms. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, European Commission, and Ms. Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, U.S. Department of State.

“I want to thank PPI for what they have done to try to put facts around the Internet economy,” said Under Secretary Novelli. “I think one thing we [politicians and policymakers] have to do is ground what we do in facts. It is a fact that a thriving transatlantic digital economy is critical to economic growth and shared prosperity.”

"We can work together in so many areas to enjoy this digital boost; constructively collaborating to make this platform work across the Atlantic," said Vice President Kroes. "That is my dream – a transatlantic digital single market."

US-European Union merchandise trade totaled an estimated $787 billion (€598 billion) in 2013—double the level of 2000. Yet, often overlooked is the importance of trade in data, which is now the fastest-growing segment in transatlantic trade. Digital technologies are profoundly shaping and accelerating transatlantic commerce, a trend which has led to calls to include a “digital chapter” in the ongoing negotiations for TTIP.

"The more open we are; the more we will benefit. Within the EU, and within the US; but also between the two continents," said Vice President Kroes. "That is partly about removing barriers to trade, and opening up markets at all levels. That is what TTIP—the transatlantic trade and investment partnership—is all about. And that will need to have a strong digital component."

This necessitates, however, finding common ground on difficult issues surrounding cross-border data trade, government surveillance and privacy concerns, data localization and data protection, as well as an improved framework for Internet governance.

The event marked the third collaboration between the Progressive Policy Institute and the Lisbon Council. PPI has traveled to Brussels for two previous engagements regarding the rise of the data-driven economy, digital trade, and what the prospect of barriers to digital trade could mean for economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. At this event, PPI and the Lisbon Council released an update of the European data gap numbers from a joint report, “Bridging the Data Gap: How Digital Innovation Can Drive Growth and Create Jobs,” authored by PPI Economic Strategist Michael Mandel and the Lisbon Council President Paul Hofeinz in April 2014.


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