Monday 7th October 2013, The second round of TTIP talks in Brussels were sadly cancelled at short notice. But both the EU and US authorities were at pains to stress there was no significant diminution in political will or momentum. There is a broad weight of business support across most sectors, but we need to get into the specifics soon given the accelerated timetable for TTIP. What excites the ICT sector, and BT specifically, about TTIP? Several things:
- There is good macro-economic correlation between trade and ICT. More trade generally means ICT growth, and hence jobs;
- TTIP (and TPP and EU-Japan etc) will likely spark greater effort by the WTO and BRICS on multilateral trade e.g. TISA progress, which is a good thing;
- Opening up sub-Federal level public procurement in various areas including ICT in the USA will help efficiency;
- Agreeing norms and principles and/or standards in forward looking high technology areas for regulatory convergence will be highly valuable for EU-US competitiveness globally e.g. cloud computing, data security, e-health, nanotech. All these need not be finalised by early 2015 but at least a framework and governance structure put in place to drive them forward through regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic;
- Focusing forensically on ensuring key ICT sector regulatory principles are in synch across the Atlantic. The EU-US ICT principles agreed under TEC in 2011 for advocacy globally were a positive step, but we need to ensure the US and EU match up to their own rhetoric e.g. non-discriminatory cost-based wholesale access to US networks would help.