31 October, 2012

Response to DG Trade’s Public Consultation on regulatory issues for a possible future EU-US trade agreement

There is a wide consensus that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are a key driver of economic growth on account of their multiplier effect across all sectors of the economy, providing the foundation for global competitiveness and job creation in manufacturing, agriculture and services. ICTs have experienced a radical transformation in the last decade with the development of the Internet as a common platform where convergent voice, data and video services are provided by a range of actors running on top of traditional network operators and not subject to the same legacy regulations.

ETNO believes that a holistic vision with a common understanding of the ICTs ecosystem should be an objective for the EU and US Administrations and should be reflected in their approach towards a Free Trade Agreement to ensure a level playing field among all actors involved in the provision of ICT services. As competitive dynamics change with the entrance of new players, the goal of ensuring open markets for ICT services across the Atlantic should come in parallel with a more flexible approach towards the provision of telecommunications services, a stronger reliance on ex-post application of principles of competition law and a broader perspective on the positions of dominance that are held across the value chain.

Executive Summary

  • This position paper is ETNO’s contribution to DG Trade’s Public Consultation on regulatory issues for a possible future EU-US trade agreement. It stresses some aspects of the ETNO contribution to the Public Consultation on the future of EU-US trade and economic relations (September 2012) and the EU-US High level Working Group on Jobs and Growth consultation (April 2012).
  • ETNO welcomes the initiative of a public consultation on regulatory issues. Indeed, EU-US trade and economic relations are heavily impacted by regulation, therefore making regulatory regimes more compatible across the Atlantic will improve the performance of both economies.
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