Digital Trade: Top Trade Negotiation Priorities for Cross-Border Data Flows and Online Trade in Services

This policy brief was published by the Task Force “Trade, Investment and Growth” on the T20 Italy website here. The brief is based on a Jean Monnet TIISA Network Working Paper here.

The policy brief sets out recommendations to achieve a new multilateral framework of trade rules in the digital arena, thereby facilitating continued digital transformation of services and growth in cross-border flows of data. The present moment is critical. Successful conclusion of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on E-Commerce will support trade in digital services, underpinned by cross-border data flows, complementing the expected recovery in travel and tourism services to provide a robust basis for global economic recovery and sustainable and inclusive growth. If the talks stall and fail to complete in 2022, technological change threatens another serious blow to a global institution which is reeling and seemingly unable to manage the regulatory heterogeneity resulting from national policies that threaten to compartmentalize data governance and fragment the global digital economy.