Media Relations

Demand Progress Ed Fund FOIA Reveals Collusion Between U.S. Trade Rep and Big Tech

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As reported this morning by Bloomberg, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Demand Progress Education Fund reveals the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is doing the bidding of Big Tech — in contravention of the Biden administration’s stated agenda.

As the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) negotiations resume in Singapore next week, the FOIA results reveal that USTR officials have been in contact with lobbyists from Amazon and Google, some of whom are also former USTR officials, for input on the new Indo-Pacific trade framework and pressured foreign countries on Big Tech-friendly policies on their behalf.

The FOIA revelations were included in a report published by Senator Warren’s office today entitled “Big Tech’s Big Con: Rigging Digital Trade Rules to Block Antitrust Regulation.”

In response to the news, Demand Progress Education Fund Executive Director David Segal issued the following statement:

“The role of the USTR is to advocate on behalf of rules that protect workers, consumers, the environment, and communities both inside and outside the United States. But instead, this FOIA makes it clear that USTR is doing the bidding of the biggest, most powerful corporations in the world. 

“These Big Tech giants are trying to undermine Biden’s agenda and push trade negotiators to pre-empt domestic and international regulatory efforts on their behalf. While it comes as no surprise that Big Tech is acting in this manner, it’s deeply concerning that USTR is colluding with the tech companies in conversations around the IPEF and in service of undermining domestic regulations in other countries.”

Read Senator Warren’s report here.

Read Demand Progress Education Fund’s full FOIA results here.