In 1997, during the early days of the web and e-commerce, the Clinton Administration launched a Framework for Global Electronic Commerce (White House 1997). They designed the framework to set forward five principles that would keep the internet trustworthy, stable and open, and that would allow the platform to evolve over time and space. Principle number 5 is the subject of this chapter – the focus on trade agreements to govern cross border information flows. It states

The US government supports the broadest possible free flow of information across international borders … The Administration … will develop an informal dialogue with key trading partners … to ensure that differences in national regulation … do not serve as disguised trade barriers. 1