Designing Future-Oriented Multilateral Rules for Digital Trade

Burri, Mira (2016). Designing Future-Oriented Multilateral Rules for Digital Trade. In: Sauvé, Pierre; Roy, Martin (eds.) Research Handbook on Trade in Services. Research Handbooks on the WTO series (pp. 331-356). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

[img] Text
Designing Future-Oriented Mulitlateral Rules for Digital Trade.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (332kB) | Request a copy

The Internet revolution and the digital environment have spurred a significant amount of innovative activity that has had spillover effects on many sectors of the economy. For a growing group of countries – both developed and developing – digital goods and services have become an important engine of economic growth and a clear priority in their future-oriented economic strategies. Neither the rapid technological developments associated with digitization, nor their increased societal significance have so far been reflected in international economic law in a comprehensive manner. The law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular, has not reacted in any proactive manner. A pertinent question that arises is whether the WTO rules, despite some inherent features of adaptive governance, are still useful and able to accommodate the new digital economy or whether they have been rendered dated and incapable of dealing with this important development. The chapter seeks answers to these questions. It maps the key issues and challenges which the WTO faces, both due to the left-overs of the Uruguay Round and the E-Commerce Work Programme, as well as due to the new generation of digital trade barriers. The chapter critically reviews the patchwork of regulatory responses in preferential trade agreements and sketches different and potentially better WTO scenarios. Depending on the political will and commitment, these can encompass variations of an extended Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) or a dedicated Digital Economy Trade Agreement. The chapter assesses the pros and cons of these avenues and identifies the essential elements of future-oriented multilateral rules for digital trade.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > Institute of European and International Economic Law
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Mira


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation




Research Handbooks on the WTO series


Edward Elgar




Tihomira Burri

Date Deposited:

11 Nov 2016 14:29

Last Modified:

31 May 2017 10:29




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback