September 30, 2013–David Dreier, chairman of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission at Sunnylands, will travel to Tokyo this week to meet with senior business and government officials on trade dimensions of cross border data flows.
The meetings will take place in advance of an October 8-9 conference in Singapore. The conference, the first Asia-Pacific consultation on data flow as a trade issue, will be hosted by the Los Angeles-based Commission and The Brookings Institution.
Dreier, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was part of the Republican leadership and chaired the influential House Rules Committee. He has consistently been one of the nation’s most powerful voices in favor of open commerce as an engine for economic growth and human opportunity. He played a key role in the passage of free trade agreements with key U.S. trading partners in Asia and the Americas.
In Tokyo, he will meet with key corporate and government leaders to discuss the growing importance of data flow to the operations of a wide range of global companies. He will brief on the Cross Border Data Flows project, which is aimed at developing principles that safeguard data flow while still allowing for legitimate regulation.
The project comes as a number of governments have adopted, are contemplating or implementing policies that impose new controls on data flow. According to Dreier, these controls “…can have dangerous and unintended consequences of stifling trade, at a substantial cost in lost revenue, taxes, jobs, and opportunity.”
It is vital, he noted, that “governments and businesses have the most accurate possible understanding of the economic value of cross border data flows, and policies which govern those flows must strike a healthy balance between the many equities involved.”
The Singapore meeting will be attended by policy experts and senior executives from global firms active in the Asia-Pacific, representing sectors as diverse as financial services, manufacturing, data services, and e-commerce.