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Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank Announces U.S. Participation in APEC's Cross Border Privacy Rules System

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced the United States’ participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. This voluntary system promotes a baseline set of data privacy practices for companies doing business in participating APEC economies. The goal of the system is to enhance electronic commerce, facilitate trade and economic growth, and strengthen consumer privacy protections across the Asia Pacific region.

“U.S. participation in APEC’s Cross Border Privacy Rules system is a significant milestone in international data protection and is an important step in the implementation of the global privacy strategy outlined in the Obama administration’s February 2012 Data Privacy Blueprint,” said Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank. “This system will enable participating companies in the United States and other APEC member economies to more efficiently exchange data in a secure manner and will enhance consumer data privacy by establishing a consistent level of protection and accountability in the APEC region. The CBPR system directly supports the president’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 by decreasing regulatory barriers to trade and commerce, and creating more export opportunities for American companies, and more American jobs. We are committed to working with our trading partners in APEC to help maximize its implementation throughout the region.”

The 21 member economies in APEC comprise a market of 2.7 billion consumers, and account for 55 percent of world real gross domestic product, as well as 44 percent of world trade. On November 13, 2011, President Obama and representatives from the other APEC economies endorsed the CBPR system at the APEC Leaders Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the APEC Leaders’ Declaration, President Obama and his counterparts committed to implementing the CBPR system to further open markets and facilitate regional trade. The United States plans to work with APEC to launch the system in the next six months.

More information about the Cross Border Privacy Rules is available via the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group website.