Briefing

U.S. attempts to shield tech giants from foreign regulators by inserting domestic protections into trade deals

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The U.S. has put rules into two of its biggest trade deals that protect companies from many lawsuits related to moderating user content. The protections stem from Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act, and appear in the USMCA and in a pact with Japan signed Monday. (New York Times)

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Talking point: It’s a sign of a deepening rift between America and other parts of the world over how Big Tech should be regulated. The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has been notoriously hard on global tech giants, leading U.S. President Donald Trump to assert that Vestager “hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met.” Vestager is set to take on a second term in November, in addition to a beefed-up role overseeing the bloc’s digital policy, and has vowed to broaden her regulatory toolbox, looking beyond fines to rein the companies in. However, she also said Tuesday that breaking up tech companies would be a last resort. Those comments starkly contrast those made by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has stated that her administration would break up firms like Google and Facebook.