Bipartisan Group of Senators Call on USTR to Not Include Section 230 in U.S.-UK Agreement

On December 18, a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, requesting that the administration not include broad online liability protections in the potential U.S.-UK trade agreement. The letter, signed by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), notes that both the United States Congress and the United Kingdom are currently engaged in extensive reviews of their online liability regulations and that including a safe harbor clause would be “inappropriate” and “frankly unhelpful.” Multiple members of Congress have recently proposed amendments to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that protects online platforms from liability for the third-party content they publish, thereby facilitating various online harms. The administration included language similar to Section 230 in the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), in addition to the negotiating objectives for the U.S.-UK agreement.

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