Senators Seek to Stop Digital Discrimination by the EU

US Senate© tupungato / Getty Images / Canva

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are calling on the Biden Administration to work with the European Union to address the discriminatory aspects of EU digital regulations that target a handful of American companies while failing to regulate similar companies based in Europe, China, Russia and elsewhere, giving those companies a competitive advantage and violating bedrock principles of international trade. The senators emphasized that these issues should be addressed as part of U.S.-EU engagement at the Trade and Technology Council and in discussions with the EU regarding the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“We support thoughtful, even-handed policies to protect consumers and encourage competition online,” Wyden and Crapo wrote in a letter to President Biden on Thursday. “However, regulatory efforts that discriminate against U.S. employers and their workers by exempting the EU’s domestic companies, and even other foreign companies, are both unfair and counterproductive to the purported goals of ensuring privacy, protecting consumers, and promoting national security.”

Unless the United States raises its concerns and presses the EU to reconsider its approach to digital regulations, discriminatory EU policies will proliferate and continue to disadvantage U.S. companies and their workers and give an unfair advantage to competitors based in Europe, as well as China and Russia.

“These laws, still in the implementation phase, are intended to promote laudable goals such as competition and consumer protection online. If the EU is serious about achieving these goals, however, it is wrong to enact legislation where the costs and responsibilities are borne principally by American companies without appropriately regulating European, Chinese, and Russian entities that engage in the same activities.”

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A copy of the letter can be found here.

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