US Adds China’s Internet Controls to List of Trade Barriers

The internet represents 6 percent of the US GDP, contributing to economic growth and jobs, more so than the construction or food-service sectors, reports a 2015 study for the Internet Association. Previous studies by McKinsey Global Institute suggest that most economic benefit, 75 percent, goes to companies in traditional industries. Such is the rationale for the Obama administration to add China’s so-called Great Firewall, a system of internet filters, to an annual list of trade barriers. “The move, which isn’t likely to have immediate repercussions, speaks to the American government’s growing concern over Chinese Internet regulations and could foreshadow more aggressive actions,” reports Paul Mozur for the New York Times. The US opposes censorship while China regards such blocks as national security measures to avoid public anger and instability. The most recent example: China blocks references to the Panama Papers linking relatives of Chinese officials to offshore accounts. As a trade matter, the filters likely harm Chinese businesses more so than foreign firms. – YaleGlobal

US Adds China’s Internet Controls to List of Trade Barriers

Internet said to account for 6 percent of US GDP; Obama administration tackles China’s internet controls – the Great Firewall – as a trade Issue
Paul Mozur
Friday, April 8, 2016

Read the article from the New York Times.

Read the article “’Internet economy' is 6 Percent of US GDP” from

Read the McKinsey Global Institute’s report on the Internet’s impact on growth and jobs.

Cao Li contributed research from Beijing.

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