ICC has joined a global coalition of industry associations in urging members of the World Trade Organization to keep the Internet free of tariffs ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12).
Supported by 73 industry associations active across six continents, the Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions urges WTO Members to renew the Moratorium until the 13th Ministerial Conference.
The statement reads:
“Allowing the Moratorium to expire would be a historic setback for the WTO, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement in place nearly since the WTO’s inception – an agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow. All WTO members have a stake in the organisation’s continued institutional credibility and resilience, as well as its relevance at a time of unprecedented digital transformation.”
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
“Failure to renew the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions would be a grave error on the part of WTO Members. At this critical juncture in our recovery from COVID-19, the Internet must remain free of tariff adventurism.”
The statement also notes the benefits of the Moratorium to the COVID-19 recovery, supply chain resilience and to MSMEs:
“Continuation of the Moratorium is critical to the COVID-19 recovery. As detailed by the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and many other organizations, the cross-border exchange of knowledge, technical know-how, and scientific and commercial information across transnational IT networks, as well as access to digital tools and global market opportunities have helped sustain economies, expand education, and raise global living standards.
Continuation of the Moratorium is also important to supply chain resilience for manufacturing and services industries in the COVID-19 era. Manufacturers – both large and small, and across a range of industrial sectors – rely on the constant flow of research, design, and process data and software to enable their production flows and supply chains for critical products.
The Moratorium is particularly beneficial to Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), whose ability to access and leverage digital tools has allowed them to stay in business amidst physical restrictions and lockdowns.”
Business and regulators gather at global competition forum to prepare for new era in antitrust law enforcement
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) hosted a global competition forum on the side-lines of the 21st International Competition Network (ICN) Annual Conference to help global business and antitrust enforcers gain a deeper understanding of the new trends and related challenges in antitrust law enforcement that have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ICC Pre-ICN Forum, organised in partnership with the International Bar Association, was conceived over a decade ago to facilitate an open dialogue between key actors in antitrust enforcement – using ICC’s flagship antitrust initiatives to draw attention to critical issues with the view to ignite potential new antitrust reforms. With the introduction of ICC Compendium of Antitrust Damages Actions during last year’s Forum, ICC shone a spotlight on the increasingly fragmented nature of national private antitrust enforcement regimes which continues to create vast new pressures on companies.
The heightened risks faced by companies of being sued for damages brought against them has had an important impact on a company’s decision to report a cartel – making leniency applications less attractive. In this worrying context, ICC was proud to release at the Forum the 3rd Edition of the ICC Leniency Manual providing companies with a step-by-step approach to understanding leniency applications worldwide – and, crucially, the confidence to take action in fighting cartels.
ICC welcomes new principles for the future of Internet and calls for global cooperation
Following the launch of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet at the White House today, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has issued the following statement welcoming the new principles and calling for effective global multilateral cooperation.
“An open, stable and trusted Internet that is global and interoperable is vital for business operations worldwide and a prerequisite to the effective functioning of public services such as education and health care as well as to the way citizens interact with their government.
“ICC and its network of 45 million business worldwide share a core belief that ICTs and digital technologies, when used responsibly and equitably, can create opportunities for everyone, transforming lives and communities as a formidable engine of innovation, competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. This unique potential can only be fully harnessed if the fundamental nature of the Internet as an open, interconnected and interoperable network of networks is preserved and if the rights, freedoms, trust and safety of all peoples on the Internet are maintained.
“The principles set out in the Declaration for the Future of the Internet are the right steps in this direction. They promote (i) a stable legal and regulatory environment for human-centric connectivity, (ii) open markets and trusted free flows of data that enable innovation and growth, (iii) a holistic approach to policymaking and (iv) multistakeholder Internet governance – the four building blocks ICC identifies as crucial for sustainable digitalisation.