Digital Trade: In Search of Appropriate Regulation
Fernando Esteban De La Rosa et al. (eds), Justice, Trade, Security and Individual Freedoms in the Digital Society (Thomson/Reuters, 2021), 213–247.
26 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 12, 2021
The chapter starts with a brief look into disruptive technologies and discusses the Internet as a discrete type of general purpose technology (GPT). It then explores the sweeping effects of digitization at different levels of the economy and on trade and trade policies. In order to understand what needs to be changed or at least calibrated in existing external trade policies, we also need to know what we have in terms of existing regulatory frameworks. It is the objective of the chapter’s third part to attend to this need, as well as to show how selected countries have responded to the digital challenge and formulated distinct or less distinct responses in their respective trade policies. The focus here is placed on the newer and most advanced templates in the area of digital trade law - those of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) and of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). The chapter goes on to contextualize and assess the impact of the existing legal framework, as shaped by preferential trade agreements. In its last part, the chapter asks whether there are better ways to address the data-driven economy and what the essential elements of such a model may be.
Keywords: technological disruption, digital trade, international economic law, WTO, free trade agreements
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