Office of Digital Services Industries
The Office of Digital Services covers U.S. information and communications technologies to help U.S. companies innovate and compete.
In line with ITA’s objective to reduce, remove or prevent trade barriers, the Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI) works to create the necessary conditions for U.S. information and communications technology companies to innovate and compete at home and abroad and promotes the cross-border data flows that underpin international trade and economic growth for all U.S. companies, regardless of sector. To achieve these goals ODSI seeks to: 1) address government actions and policies that impede exports of U.S. digital and internet services; 2) reduce the costs and complexities of exporting to enable more U.S. companies to compete successfully abroad; and 3) assess sectoral competitiveness issues and foreign direct investment in U.S. digital and internet services industries. ODSI focuses on digital services issues, while our sister Office, the Office of Health of Information Technologies in the Manufacturing Unit, works on digital equipment issues.
Key Industries and Issues
|Cross-border data flows||Software|
|Blockchain||Media and Entertainment|
Who we are:
ODSI is divided into three teams:
The Digital and Internet Services Team:
The Digital and Internet Services Team addresses trade policy and commercial issues related to a wide range of evolving ICT (information and communications technology) services, including countering digital services taxes and helping to shape global cybersecurity trade policy, and serves as the International Trade Administration (ITA) lead on telecommunications and digital trade negotiations in bilateral and multilateral agreements. Our analysts and industry experts work to eliminate trade barriers and promote best regulatory practices that enable innovation and grow the U.S. economy through increased U.S. exports and foreign investment in the U.S. digital services sectors.
- Digital Trade in Free Trade Agreements - According to the McKinsey Global Institute, over the next decade, digitalization and automation could contribute as much as $13 trillion to the global economy through innovation and productivity improvements. The DIS Team has played a critical role in crafting the digital trade chapters of recent trade agreements, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the U.S.-Japan Agreement on Digital Trade, both of which include strong rules that enable trade and investment in sectors of the economy where U.S. companies have a competitive advantage.
cloud computing, cybersecurity
software, artificial intelligence
media & entertainment
Privacy Shield Team:
The Privacy Shield Team oversees and administers the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks and looks for opportunities to support U.S. industry interests in discussions on data protection and cross-border data flows in the EU. Please refer to the Privacy Shield website for more information.
- How Privacy Shield Can Help Your Company - Our analysts and industry experts work to promote the free flow of transatlantic data while respecting individuals’ rights to privacy. To further these efforts, we administer the Privacy Shield Frameworks, work closely with our European counterparts to ensure the free flow of personal data, and provide data policy guidance to U.S. companies seeking to do business in Europe. If you are interested in learning more about Privacy Shield certification or if you are experiencing any EU data policy issues or trade barriers, please visit our website at https://www.privacyshield.gov/ or reach out to our team using the contact information provided below.
Privacy Shield Team
Global Data Policy Team:
Digitally delivered services account for more than 50% of U.S. services trade and 20% of all U.S. exports. Additionally, data flows account for at least 2.4 million U.S. jobs. The Global Data Policy (GDP) team works to promote the necessary conditions for U.S. companies to innovate and compete at home and abroad and to support cross border data flows that underpin international trade and economic growth for U.S. companies of all sizes and in all sectors. The GDP team does this in several ways, including:
- Bilateral engagement: Promoting best regulatory practices that enable data innovation and addressing government actions and policies that impede cross border data flows;
- Promoting internationally-recognized data privacy certifications: Promoting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System, a multi-lateral data privacy certification available to U.S. companies to demonstrate compliance with internationally recognized privacy protections thereby reducing the costs and complexities of exporting;
- Multilateral Fora: Participating in multilateral fora such as APEC, the OECD, G20 and the G7, to promote open data flows and interoperability of data privacy regulation.
APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System Adds Accountability Agent
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is pleased to note that BBB National Programs has received APEC approval to become an Accountability Agent in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System. BBB National Programs is the first U.S. non-profit Accountability Agent. It joins the four other organizations that serve as Accountability Agents in the United States, including HITRUST, NCC Group, Schellman & Company LLC, and TrustArc. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services in ITA, Christopher Hoff, noted, “I’m so pleased to see a steadily growing number of U.S. Accountability Agents participating in the APEC CBPR System. This development will certainly increase the options for U.S. companies to participate in this groundbreaking system that facilitates data flows and trade, while enhancing privacy protections for consumers”. For additional information, please see http://cbprs.org/accountability-agents/
Questions regarding international cross border data flows can be addressed to: GDP@trade.gov.
Digital Attaché Program
ODSI staff, along with representatives of the Office of Health and Information Technologies, serve on the Digital Attaché Program Steering Committee. The Digital Attaché Program supports a network of Commercial Service staff who are well-informed on digital trade and policy matters, and work to help U.S. companies on the ground in key markets.
These Digital Attachés are located in U.S. embassies in key markets to assist U.S. firms on market access and regulatory or policy challenges. There are currently 14 digital attaches located in embassies across the globe.
ITA works closely with industry and other stakeholders to ensure that digital attaches are fully briefed on U.S. Government and U.S. industry priorities—including standards and regulations related to artificial intelligence, blockchain, cross-border data flows (including Privacy Shield and the APEC CBPR System), cybersecurity, U.S. FTA digital trade objectives, the WTO Ecommerce Initiative, and other high-profile issues.
You can find more information on this program here.
ICT Page: Find out more about the industries we work with on the ICT page.