The Internet is a huge and ever growing part of the vast U.S. and international economy. Experts continue attempts to quantify the billions of dollars generated by the Internet and Internet-based activities. A recent report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission sheds light on a part of that impact, more specifically the influence that the Internet has on trade.
The report, titled Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, was formulated using metrics from three different vectors, including firm case studies, a survey of U.S. businesses, and economy-wide application. According to the findings, not only does the Internet generate economic growth, but it also aids communications and increases productivity for businesses of varying sizes.
The report suggests that the benefits generated by the Internet have increased the U.S. gross domestic product by a total of 3.4-4.8 percent or $517.1-$710.7 billion. In addition, “digitally intensive industries” were responsible for more than $935 billion in commerce in 2012. Removing foreign trade barriers would even add an additional 0.1-0.3 percent or $16.7-$41.4 billion.
The Internet also largely contributes to reducing the costs of imports and exports in the U.S., which the report estimates to be about 26 percent. The lowered costs increase the GDP by up to nearly $40 billion and increases employment wages by up to $2.4 million.
Throughout the more than 300-page report, which was commissioned by the Senate Finance Committee, there are numerous examples of how Internet-based industries are positively impacting trade economically on a global scale to the tune of billions of dollars. The Internet infrastructure industry can stand proud at its role in the digital economy.
Our industry provides the platform on which all this is possible. From web hosting and data-center providers to cloud computing services and registries and registrars, the infrastructure industry is the backbone of the Internet. Just as a long bridge that you drive over requires a steel framework, the Internet needs the nuts and bolts to make it connect. All the devices making up the infrastructure act as the rivets that hold the framework together, allowing it to reach far and wide.
This report underscores the ongoing importance of the Internet infrastructure industry and is a worthwhile read. Please take a look and email me your thoughts at [email protected] Are you interesting in helping the i2Coalition support the Internet infrastructure industry? Learn more about becoming a member today.