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LAWFARE – Transatlantic Digital Trade Protections: From TTIP to ‘Policy Suicide’?

In a recent article for Lawfare, Kenneth Propp discusses a marked shift in U.S. digital trade policy.  Whereas the United States has historically insisted upon free data flows, in recent months it has abandoned such proposals in WTO e-commerce negotiations and in negotiations on a projected Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).  These moves may reflect a waning U.S. political desire to exercise trade policy leadership in international fora.  They may ultimately serve to benefit countries such as Russia and China whose laws limiting data flows and requiring localization enhance their ability to crack down on dissent and control information.

Underlying these U.S. moves is an increased focus on regulation of large U.S. technology companies.  Increased regulatory activity in areas ranging from competition to artificial intelligence brings the U.S. into closer alignment with the European Union and its more rights-centered regulatory model.  The EU, however, continues to pursue a modest set of digital trade protections in trade agreements, including restraints on data localization.

To read the full article on Lawfare, click here.


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