December 18,2020

Grassley, Warner, Portman, Blumenthal Urge Lighthizer to Not Include Tech Liability Shield in U.S.-U.K. Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) along with Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, urging the Trump administration to refrain from including sweeping liability protection language modeled on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 in a trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.
“We are optimistic that a new trade agreement with the United Kingdom will ensure fair, balanced, and reciprocal trade. But we want to note that we have concerns with the inclusion of safe harbor language modeled on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996,” the senators wrote. “Including a safe harbor clause in any future trade agreements will further allocate more power to companies at the expense of individuals.”
They continued, Congress can and should debate about Section 230 and how it has enabled platforms to turn a blind eye as their platforms are used to facilitate discrimination, cyber-stalking, terrorism, online frauds, and more. We urge USTR to refrain from including this provision in this and future free trade agreements until that debate has concluded.”
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.