On June 19, 2014, the President’s Export Council (“PEC”) held a meeting to discuss nine key issues, including the effects of foreign laws that restrict cross-border data flows. At the meeting, the private sector members of the PEC submitted a recommendation letter to President Obama expressing their concern about the threat to American business from protectionist, cross-border data transfer restrictions imposed by foreign countries. The letter describes how certain governments are implementing “digital protectionism” in the form of laws and policies restricting the cross-border flow of data (for example, by requiring domestic processing and storage of data citing concerns for personal privacy and national security). These foreign laws may limit the ability of American businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, to expand their business operations to include countries that enact such measures.

The PEC, created in 2010, is the President’s principal national advisory committee on international trade. The PEC’s advice to the President focuses on domestic and foreign government policies and programs that affect U.S. trade performance and exports. In addition, the PEC provides a forum for business and government leaders to discuss and resolve trade-related issues.

Read a transcript of President Obama’s remarks at the PEC meeting.

Read the PEC’s letter to President Obama.