Letter to Secretary Raimondo: Criticism of the European Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act

Accountable Tech | American Economic Liberties Project | American Family Voices | Athena | MoveOn | Public Citizen | Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW | Rethink Trade

The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20230

February 3, 2022

Dear Secretary Raimondo:We are a diverse group of organizations concerned about the corrosive effects of monopolistic Big Tech firms on our democracy, economy, civil rights and privacy. We have been encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing the crisis of concentrated economic power in the economy, including the president’s July 2021, Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.

Thus, we found your criticism of the European Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act perturbing. 

Your argument that these policies have a disproportionate impact on certain U.S. firms seems disconnected from the reality that if any online firm, whether it is American or not, has a disproportionately large share of a market, then competition policies and digital governance policies inevitably will have a significant impact on said firm. That big impact is because the firm is big, not because it is American.

We are eager to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter, and also your agenda and proposed timeline for the Indo-Pacific negotiations that you announced in November. 

With respect to the Indo-Pacific negotiations, in comments during your Asian trip, you identified “digital trade” as a focus of the talks. You also noted that there would be no role for Congress in designing the talks nor in approving the resulting pact. 

Given “digital trade” is a brand pushed by the very Big Tech firms that Congress and Biden administration agencies are now working hard to regulate, and the firms are keen to use this framework to lock in international rules that could limit domestic regulation of such firms, we are concerned about the prospect for such talks to undermine both stated administration policy and the efforts of Congress.
We look forward to meeting with you to discuss these critical matters.Signed, 

Stuart Appelbaum, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, RWDSU/UFCW
Alex Harmon, Public Citizen 
Jill Hurst, Athena 
Jesse Lehrich, Accountable Tech 
Mike Lux, American Family Voices 
Sarah Miller, American Economic Liberties Project 
Maralyn O’Brien, MoveOn 
Lori Wallach, Rethink Trade

Translate »