The “Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet” was announced today, signed by groups and individuals concerned about trade negotiations that can be closed to viewpoints other than businesses. The declaration makes six specific recommendations for countries participating in global trade agreements, including the regular release of draft proposals, ample opportunity for public comment and feedback, and engagement of organizations and experts representing Internet users and consumers. The I2Coalition participated in the discussions and formulation of the Declaration. Though the I2Coalition did not sign the Declaration, it has expressed its support for many of the Declaration’s broad goals.
The Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet stems from a meeting in Belgium earlier this year on catalyzing reform of trade negotiation processes. Experts from four continents took part, including the i2Coalition, took part in the meeting. i2Coalition Chairman David Snead stated “i2Coalition members have a broad range of views on trade issues. We participated in the discussions that led to the Brussels Declaration on Trade because of our deep belief that many voices are not being heard when discussions about trade and the Internet intersect. It is our opinion that the serious consideration of diverse views will lead to better trade agreements.”