The Trade Enforcement Digest, Issue #11

The Trade Enforcement Digest, Issue #11

Welcome to
The Trade Enforcement Digest,
a monthly newsletter brought to you by the Alliance for Trade Enforcement (AFTE).

AFTE is a coalition of trade associations and business groups that advocates for protecting American businesses and workers by enforcing U.S. trade agreements.

Would you like to speak with an AFTE representative about any of the issues discussed in this newsletter? If so, please email

Alliance Announcements

  • On November 28, AFTE Executive Director Brian Pomper was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on the dangers of counterfeiting during the holiday season.

In the News

  • APEC Leaders Advance Plan for Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area: At a Bangkok meeting of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc, attended by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, the Thai Prime Minister said the group had made “significant progress” on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. (Reuters, 11/19)
  • Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) Backs Mexico and Switzerland’s Opposition to TRIPS Waiver Expansion: The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee applauded Mexico and Switzerland’s opposition to the TRIPS waiver expansion because “the TRIPS waiver has accomplished nothing, and extending it to diagnostics and therapeutics is equally unhelpful.” (GOP Ways And Means, 11/18)

  • Senators Grassley and Ernst Call for USTR to Launch Dispute Over Mexico’s Ban of Biotech Corn Imports: Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are pushing USTR to initiate a trade dispute over Mexico’s latest violation of USMCA — its proposed ban of biotech corn imports. (Inside U.S. Trade, 11/14)

  • First Round of In-Person IPEF Talks to Occur in Brisbane, Australia: Australia will host the first in-person round of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) negotiations from December 10-15, 2022. (Inside U.S. Trade, 11/14)

  • House Democrats Warn Against Expanded IP Waiver on Covid-19 Tests and Treatments: An expanded TRIPS waiver for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics would have “unintended adverse consequences,” according to a group of House Democrats. (Inside U.S. Trade, 11/11)

  • USTR Would Consider New Trade Promotion Authority for President Biden: USTR Tai will consider new Trade Promotion Authority for Biden, but only if there is broad, bipartisan support. (Inside U.S. Trade, 11/10)

  • Former USPTO Directors Oppose TRIPS Waiver Expansion: Former USPTO directors David Kappos and Andrei Iancu published a blog post urging the United States to “reclaim leadership by opposing the TRIPS proposal.” As Mexico and Switzerland raise increasing questions about the need and impact of the WTO’s proposed waiver expansion, the United States has failed to act, the writers argue. (Council for Innovation Promotion, 11/9)

  • U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum Postponed Until Beginning of Next Year: The annual Trade Policy Forum between the United States and India has been delayed until early 2023, giving the two sides “more time to achieve substantive outcomes,” according to a U.S. official. (Politico, 11/7)

  • International Trade Deficit Rose in September: According to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit rose to $73.3 billion in September from $65.7 billion in August. September exports fell by $2.8 billion compared to August, but imports increased by $4.8 billion. (BEA, 11/3)

  • APEP Countries May Issue Declaration in December to Push for Deal: Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity countries may soon release a declaration allowing quick progress toward a deal, according to U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez. (Inside U.S. Trade, 11/1)

  • Mexico and Switzerland Say There’s No Need to Expand TRIPS Waiver: Citing ample data, the governments of Mexico and Switzerland told the WTO that there is no “IP-induced lack of access to or a lack of manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics” and that expanding the existing TRIPS waiver to Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics would have a “detrimental effect and leave us ill-equipped to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and potential future pandemics effectively.” (WTO, 11/1)

Spotlight on Enforcement

(If you only focus on one enforcement issue this month, it should be this one.)

More and more countries are implementing data localization policies — laws and regulations that require data to be stored locally. These new rules pose a challenge to American business — not just app makers, cloud-computing businesses, and technology companies, but a wide variety of broader manufacturing and services companies for which data is central to their business operations.

To meet data localization requirements, firms need to use local storage infrastructure in the country or region where they’re doing business. But many small companies lack the resources to do this, which means they’re effectively boxed out of these markets.

U.S. trading partners with data localization rules include India, Brazil, and Indonesia.

In India, the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy mandates that data collected using public funds must be kept in India. Proposed regulations in recent years have gone further, suggesting that all data generated in India remain in the country.

Brazil’s General Data Protection Law only permits Brazilian data to be stored in certain foreign countries, a list that has yet to be fully determined, threatening market access and predictability for American firms.

Since 2019, Indonesia has required public-sector data to remain in the country for storage, management, and processing, and restricted the cross-border flow of personal data unless the foreign country matches Indonesia’s standards.

These are just a few of many examples. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of data-localization policies around the world grew from 67 restrictions in 35 countries to 144 restrictions in 62 countries, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Data localization rules are in effect trade barriers, negatively affecting commerce wherever they’re implemented. For American companies across all economic sectors they’re a potential disaster.