Governing digital trade

As global data flows and digital technologies transform international trade, governments and regulators have to determine how to benefit from these developments while maintaining the integrity of their domestic regulations. Currently, governments are increasingly restricting global data flows and requiring data localization, undermining the economic benefits of digital trade. To address this trend will require a system of digital trade governance that has two key elements. One element is new digital trade rules, some of which exist in the WTO and others which are being developed in free trade agreements. The other is international regulatory cooperation to develop standards and mutual recognition agreements in areas such as privacy and consumer protection that gives domestic regulators confidence that allowing data to leave their jurisdiction will not undermine achievement of domestic regulatory goals. In the absence of such regulatory cooperation, governments are likely to continue to restrict data flows, relying on the exceptions provisions to their digital trade commitments.

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The Future of Deep Free Trade Agreements: The Convergence of TPP (and CPTPP) and CETA?* Heng Wang

Focusing on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans- Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as deep free trade agreements (FTAs) that concentrate on regulatory disciplines, this article examines a key question concerning the future of deep FTAs: do deep FTAs converge and, if so, why? It argues that, first, deep FTAs converge in their approach to trade and investment in two crucial respects: regulatory disciplines and dispute settlement. CPTPP narrows its gap with CETA through suspending rules in arguably most controversial aspects of TPP (i.e. intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement [ISDS]). Differences emerge but are not unbridgeable, and convergence varies depending on the area. Second, the reasons for the convergence include shared FTA objectives (particularly regulatory protection), the development of FTA rules from WTO norms, and other factors (e.g. the lessons drawn from previous ISDS experience, the inherent limit of FTAs, and membership overlap). Finally, the convergence of deep FTAs has the potential to bridge most if not all differences if there is political willingness

The Rise of Populist Nationalism and the Renegotiation of NAFTA

Countries that have traditionally led the way in promoting economic globalization and its institutions have seen a recent surge of populism and nationalism, calling into question the liberal international economic order. The rhetoric of these critics is often vague, however, and it is unclear what a populist or nationalist approach to international economic policy would look like. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation initiated by the Trump administration could give us the first clues. Will their proposals destroy the trading system as we know it, or merely tweak it? This article examines these issues by discussing the concepts of nationalism and sovereignty, and then viewing the Trump administration’s specific NAFTA proposals through those lenses.

Trade Rules for the Digital Economy: Charting New Waters at the WTO

This Article attempts to explore the challenges in situating a multilateral digital trade agreement within the legal framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Section 1 of the article discusses the broad challenges that digitization poses for the international legal framework for trade regulation. I argue first that the traditional classification of products into goods and services under the WTO system is structurally incompatible with the digital economy. I also argue that striking the appropriate balance between trade liberalization and the pursuit of legitimate public policy objectives in a digital trade agreement will be uniquely challenging because certain features that are intrinsic to the digital industry and business strategies of established players in the digital market raise serious anticompetition challenges. A multilateral agreement regulating digital trade needs to acknowledge and address these challenges. Section 2 surveys the efforts that have been undertaken to regulate digital trade as manifested in the WTO Work Program on Electronic Commerce. Acknowledging that the digital trade agenda of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement could be used as a benchmark for discussions on e-commerce at the WTO, I argue that future negotiations for a multilateral digital trade policy will not benefit from using the TPP’s digital trade agenda as a benchmark. The TPP does not reconcile systemic tensions between the digital economy and the extant WTO system or address the anticompetition challenges that are unique to the digital ecosystem.

Macroeconomic Response to Oil and Food Price Shocks: A Structural VAR Approach to the Indian Economy

The study analyzed the dynamic impact of oil and food price shocks on the macroeconomy of India, using the monthly time series data from April 1994 to May 2016 in a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) framework