Trade Law in a Data-Driven Economy: The Need for Modesty and Resilience
World Trade Review, forthcoming, 2021
30 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020 Last revised: 3 Apr 2021
Date Written: July 6, 2020
This article examines the social challenges posed by the data-driven economy, their implications for international trade law, the current trade negotiating context involving distinct models advanced by the United States, European Union and China, and a way forward that can both enhance trade and regulatory efficacy. It examines seven interrelated risks. They are the rise of ‘winner-take-all’ companies; social control through public and private surveillance; social polarization; premature deindustrialization; national security threats; cybersecurity risks; and threats to personal privacy. In response to these risks, the article contends that trade agreements should be deferential to national regulation, while supporting mechanisms for regulatory learning and adaptation. In this spirit, the article advances a governance framework that goes beyond “liberalization” and that foregrounds the importance of building resilience and engaging in regulatory problem solving.
Keywords: Data-Driven Economy, Resilience, E-Commerce; Regulatory Cooperation
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