U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews Delivers Remarks at Danish Royal Visit and Business Delegation


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews delivered remarks to the Danish Royal Visit and Business Delegation in Washington. Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are leading a two-day trade promotion visit, accompanied by Danish trade officials and representatives from 60 Danish companies.

Deputy Secretary Andrews reinforced the importance of the U.S.-Danish bilateral economic relationship and invited Danish direct investment into the United States through the SelectUSA program. The Deputy Secretary acknowledged the importance of prioritizing the development of digital trade and encouraged Denmark to support the creation of the European Union (EU) Digital Single Market, which would remove barriers to cross-border data flows and enable access to more users across Europe. Deputy Secretary Andrews thanked Denmark for supporting the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a vital legal framework that enables data to flow between companies while protecting privacy rights.

Finally, Deputy Secretary Andrews highlighted the benefits of the Transatlantic and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). The comprehensive trade and investment agreement is currently being negotiated between the United States and the EU to help companies compete, grow, and create jobs in the 21st century. In closing, Deputy Secretary Andrews affirmed the close relationship between the two nations as friends, allies, and commercial partners.

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good morning. Thank you for that kind introduction, Marjorie. I would like to recognize the Embassy of Denmark and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for hosting us today.

Your Royal Highness, I would like to thank you – and the Crown Princess – for leading such an impressive delegation to the United States. Denmark and the United States share a long and rich commercial relationship. As we celebrate our past, I know that you – and your entire delegation – appreciate the need to focus on the future.

As you all know, we have two outstanding ambassadors driving our relationship forward: Ambassador Lose and Ambassador Gifford. Likewise, Minister Poulsen and Mr. Bustrup are vocal champions for our commercial partnership. On behalf of the Department of Commerce, I want to say how grateful we are for your friendship.

I could not help but notice some familiar names among this delegation. The companies here today are all innovative. Many enjoy a long and successful history in the United States. We all know household names like Lego, ECCO, and Maersk. These Danish brands are so popular that many Americans assume they are U.S. companies.

Every day, tens of thousands of Americans go to work at Danish companies. And thanks to U.S. investment in Denmark, thousands of Danes have jobs with American firms.

Our relationship truly is a “win-win.”  But we think – and I am sure you will agree – that we can do more. We can help your firms grow and expand in the United States.

Many of the firms here today attended our recent SelectUSA Summit, where we highlighted the strength of our market to over 2,500 investors from over 70 countries.

At the Summit, President Obama made the case that if you could invest anywhere at any time, you would choose to invest in America and you would choose to invest right now.

There’s strong support behind that claim. Our market is growing. Our universities and technical institutes are among the best in the world. And we are the world leader in technology and innovation.

Now, let’s be clear: we are leaders in innovation because we attract the sharpest minds and most forward-thinking companies from wherever in the world they may be located. Your companies are perfect examples. We want Danish firms to thrive in the United States. Through our SelectUSA team, we are ready to work with you to identify the right opportunities for your companies and to help navigate our laws and regulations.

Based on this delegation – and the number of Danish investors at this year’s SelectUSA Summit, I have no doubt that there will be an even larger delegation at next year’s Summit.

The United States and Denmark are well-positioned to succeed as commercial partners in the 21st century. Our continued cooperation is essential, especially as the innovation unleashed by the Internet continues to change how we do business. In today’s digital economy, trade between the United States and Europe is increasingly being shaped by the data we share across borders. For the first time in history, digital trade is growing faster than trade in traditional goods and services.  And the volume of data we share will only accelerate in the years ahead.

Already, Denmark is a digital leader. The latest EU Digital Economy and Society Index ranked Denmark number one for digital competitiveness. With broadband available to 99 percent of homes in Denmark, it is no surprise that the Danish people lead Europe in their embrace of the digital economy. From Internet banking to online shopping, the Index found that Danes continue to adopt the latest digital technologies – and it is moving your economy forward.

Denmark is also a top provider of digital public services. I want to commend the government officials here today for this leadership. This is something we are still working on in the United States; and we are learning from your example. Your investments in education, in broadband, and in technology mean that the Danish people are more connected to the world and more ready to compete in the 21st century.

Of course, the digital economy’s continued growth is not guaranteed. Whether in the United States, Denmark, or the EU, we must support market-driven policies that ensure the free flow of information, ideas, products, and services across borders. Put simply: Our policy environment must keep pace with the speed of digital innovation.

That’s why I strongly encourage Denmark to continue advocating for the creation of an EU Digital Single Market. We all know that a digital single market would create more opportunities for companies to succeed in the digital economy by removing barriers to cross-border data flows and enabling access to more customers across Europe.

In one way or another, all of the firms present today are a part of the digital economy. Setting the right policies is not just important for technology companies competing online, but for all businesses in all industries in the 21st century.

As digital innovation continues to transform our world, I’m sure that the volume of data we exchange across borders will only grow.  As industries evolve, as more companies innovate, and as new online services transform how we do business, your voices become even more critical.  Together, we must look beyond a single digital market in Europe and even beyond the transatlantic digital marketplace.  Together, the United States and Denmark can – and should – drive innovation and lead the world towards a truly global digital economy.

Cross-border data flows are critical to every industry.  Food and agriculture delegates in the room can attest that every company is a digital company – whether the data is used for financial management, business operations, or distribution. And so I would also like thank Denmark for its strong support of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.  This vital legal framework will keep data flowing between companies across the Atlantic while protecting the privacy rights of our people.  The Privacy Shield will deliver tremendous benefits to all companies, and especially for small and medium-sized firms that cannot afford massive legal expenses.

Make no mistake, the Privacy Shield is essential to transatlantic commerce. It supports the $290 billion in digital services traded between the U.S. and the EU every year - and paves the way for future growth. Since the Privacy Shield program’s launch nine weeks ago, more than 700 companies have already self-certified. 

As Minister Poulsen and I have discussed, there is more we can do to grow our transatlantic commercial ties, and there is no greater example than T-TIP. At the Department of Commerce, we recognize the tremendous gains we all stand to make under T-TIP. We remain committed to concluding a comprehensive, ambitious agreement before President Obama leaves office.

Next week, U.S. and EU negotiating teams will meet in New York City to continue our steady progress. We are deeply grateful for Denmark’s support of this agreement. As we continue with negotiations, your vocal support for T-TIP is critical.

Let’s face it: international trade is a complex issue. We need you to help us put a human face on trade. Look at your markets. Identify how T-TIP prepares your companies to compete, grow, and create jobs in the 21st century. Tell that story.

After all, this agreement is ultimately not about benefitting governments – it’s about benefitting businesses and people on both sides of the Atlantic.

It is no mystery why the United States and Denmark enjoy such a strong bilateral relationship. The American people and the Danish people share many values. We believe in open markets. And we welcome innovation.  We are friends, we are allies, and we are close commercial partners.  Thank you for making this trip. I hope you enjoy your time in the United States, and hope to see you again soon. Thank you.

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