Digital Trade and Global Inequality – Towards a Multilateral e-Commerce Agreement?

Digital Trade and Global Inequality – Towards a Multilateral e-Commerce Agreement?
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Parminder Jeet Singh will be participating in a panel discussion on digital trade, global inequality, and multilateral e-commerce agreements at this panel discussion, organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, as part of their Digital Diplomacy Debate series.

Today, many trade flows of goods and services move entirely online. While physical goods are subject to tariffs at the border, digital trade has so far been exempt. Businesses no longer require a physical presence where digital products are produced, exchanged and consumed. This means that digital corporations in industrialized countries can sell their services worldwide, and the profits flow back to the rich nations. Industrialized countries are demanding a permanent ban on tariffs and a liberalization of digital trade, while civil society organizations are pointing to the exacerbation of the global gap between rich and poor. Calls for a multilateral e-commerce agreement are intensifying.

This event will focus on digitization as a key function of global trade and the demand for a multilateral regulatory framework on e-commerce. It will discuss the following questions, among others:

  • Will the WTO member states arrive at a multilateral regulatory framework on e-commerce?
  • Will and should this e-commerce agreement include tariffs on digital products and services or will the Global South continue to go empty-handed?
  • What role does the EU play in advocating tariff-free digital trade and fair international competition?
  • To what extent can values such as data security be guaranteed in e-commerce?