The internet has had a profound impact on the US economy. Internet industries are estimated to contribute 6% of real GDP and are responsible for nearly 3 million American jobs (Internet Association 2015). Moreover, US cross-border digital trade generates considerable growth for the US across all sectors -- digital trade has increased US GDP by up to 4.8% (United States International Trade Commission 2014).
The internet has evolved into a major driver of growth in the U.S. economy. The internet sector’s share of total U.S. employment doubled from 2007 to 2012 (Internet Association 2015). Overall, the ad-supported Internet accounts for more than 5.1 million American jobs (Interactive Advertising Bureau 2012), while the broader tech sector employs nearly 30,000 people per congressional district (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 2016).
Furthermore, the internet has resulted in a significant amount of data-driven trade for U.S. small businesses, manufacturers, and other traditional industries. The free flow of data across borders increases the productivity and competitiveness of businesses, reduces trade costs, and facilitates economic growth and job creation (Brookings 2014). The internet facilitates digitally deliverable services -- including the purchase and delivery of financial, consulting, engineering, and design services -- which have generated a $159 billion U.S. digital trade surplus (U.S. Commerce Department 2015).
In addition, increasing internet access has been found to lead to increased international trade (Brookings 2014). Taking into account the additional value of digitally delivered services in goods and services exports, Brookings estimates the total worth of U.S. cross-border digitally delivered services to the world at $570 billion in 2012, or 32% of total U.S. exports (Brookings 2014).