Prospects for New Trade Governance Amid Protectionist Digital Industrial Policies and National Security Concerns

Nigel Cory November 12, 2020
November 12, 2020

On November 12, Nigel Cory gave a keynote presentation on “Digital Trade: The prospects for new trade governance amidst emerging protectionist digital industrial policies and national security concerns” at the Trade and Investment in Services Associates (TIISA)’s 2020 Conference on “Servicification.” Overall,  the prospects for new agreements exist, such as those digital economy agreements between Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, but they are few amidst an increasingly fragmented global Internet. Japan, Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru), the United Kingdom, and United States, and a few other countries, are likewise trying to push for new rules in various bilateral, regional, and multilateral forums. On the latter, negotiations on ecommerce issues at the World Trade Organizations are unlikely to be ambitious as it involves leading digital protectionists like China and Russia. In additional to the growing number of data localization policies enacted around the world, unspecified and overly broad national security concerns pose another growing risk to data flows and digital trade. Ultimately, those countries that value an open, rules-based, and innovative global digital economy need to work together and push for new digital trade rules and cooperation on the broad range of issues that affect data and digital trade.