Can Trade Policy Set Information Free?

34 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2012  

Susan Ariel Aaronson

George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs

Miles Townes

George Washington University

Date Written: December 5, 2012

Abstract

This policy brief examines how the US, the EU and Canada use trade policies to govern the Internet at home and across borders. The three trade giants use trade agreements to encourage e-commerce, reduce online barriers to trade, and to develop shared policies in a world where technology is rapidly changing and where governments compete to disseminate their regulatory approaches. Policymakers use export controls, trade bans or targeted sanctions to protect Internet users in other countries or to prevent officials of other countries from using Internet related technologies in ways that undermine the rights of individuals abroad. Finally, policymakers may use trade agreements to challenge other governments’ online rules and policies as trade barriers. We discuss how these policies, agreements, bans and strategies could affect Internet openness, Internet governance, and Internet freedom. We do not address telecommunications or e-commerce definitional issues.

Keywords: trade, internet, internet freedom, human rights, governance, WTO

JEL Classification: K33, 038, 034, 051, 057

Suggested Citation

Aaronson , Susan Ariel and Townes, Miles, Can Trade Policy Set Information Free? (December 5, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2189153

Susan Aaronson (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs ( email )

1957 E Street
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.gwu.edu/~elliott/faculty/aaronson.cfm

Miles Townes

George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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