Democrats urged President Biden to pursue trade policy that supports the European Union’s new regulations targeting the market power of tech giants, and to reject claims that the rules create barriers to trade, according to a letter sent Wednesday.
The letter is based around support for the EU’s Digital Markets ACT (DMA), which adds additional regulations for large tech companies and went into effect in May.
“We urge you to continue to reject claims that the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) constitutes an illegal barrier to trade. The DMA will protect consumers and spur competition in the tech industry. The United States’ trade policy must support the European Union’s efforts to rein in Big Tech and facilitate similar American policies, rather than impair them,” the Democrats wrote.
The letter is signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).
In September, the European Commission identified the companies that would be considered “gatekeepers” and subject to the DMA guidelines.
Five of the six companies are based in the U.S. — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft — and the sixth, TikTok owner ByteDance, is based in China.
The lawmakers who sent the letter accused the tech giants, their associated trade groups and “their allies in government,” of “erroneously” claiming that the DMA is an illegal trade barrier because it “disproportionately affects U.S. companies.”
“The DMA is not discriminatory because it does not target companies, platforms, services, investors or digital products by their national origin. Rather, it establishes a framework for regulating anticompetitive behavior by the largest firms in the digital market,” they wrote.
“And if the effect of the DMA lands predominantly on massive tech corporations based in the United States, it is because they have engaged in anticompetitive tactics to achieve dominance in the industry, not because they are American,” they added.
The Democrats praised Biden’s work so far on pushing to rein in the power of tech companies, for example, through the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuits against Google. They urged the president to “remain steadfast in the face of Big Tech’s misleading trade discrimination claims.”
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