Brent Finnegan -- July 2nd, 2010
Rep. Bob Goodlatte is one of two congressional Republicans and eight Democrats sponsoring a bill that they say “focuses on trade barriers and restrictive technology standards that threaten the free flow of information and undermine global trade.”
The bill, introduced in the House Thursday, addresses foreign governments such as China or Iran that “place onerous conditions on access to their markets” or make “demands for the transfer of intellectual property” in order to conduct business online. The bill threatens sanctions for violating nations, and includes the creation of a task force “that would review, prioritize, and act on attempts by foreign governments to degrade or disrupt the flow of goods, services, and/or content on the Internet.”
. . . Some U.S. politicians responded [to China’s ongoing battle with Google] this week by announcing legislation that would try to pressure China and other nations with Internet restrictions into becoming better Net-citizens by invoking two very old techniques: public shame and trade sanctions.
A bill introduced Thursday, the One Global Internet Act (PDF), would require the federal government to identify “priority” Internet concerns overseas. Then the U.S. Trade Representative would be directed to begin an investigation under the 1974 Trade Act, which authorizes sanctions and retaliatory actions.
Harrisonburg’s congressional representative is quoted in a release on California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s website:
“American entrepreneurs and businesses will thrive abroad if we protect their intellectual property rights and tear down restrictive trade barriers,” said Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the International Anti-Piracy Caucus. “This legislation will help ensure that Americans are getting a fair shake by highlighting restrictive trade practices, and will help ensure that businesses and individuals alike have access to one Internet free of censorship.”