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Trump Pushes to Limit Facebook and Google’s Liability in NAFTA

Posted November 22, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Josh Wingrove & Ben Brody – Bloomberg)

The Trump administration is pushing to add legal protections in NAFTA that would limit the liability of internet giants such as Google and Facebook, marking the latest in a tug-of-war as policy makers balance policing the web with protecting free speech.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer included the proposal in an updated U.S. wish-list for the North American Free Trade Agreement published during the fifth round of negotiations, which ended Tuesday. It comes as U.S. senators are advancing a bill, backed by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Facebook Inc.’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, that eliminates liability protections for websites that knowingly facilitate online sex trafficking. Some other tech companies and advocates have argued such legislation threatens to undermine their industry.

The U.S. is pressuring Canada and Mexico – the country’s top two export markets – to agree to limit “civil liability of online platforms for third party content,” according to the list of U.S. negotiating priorities published Nov. 17. A major U.S. technology group, the Internet Association, had urged it to push for such language. Click here to read more.