Overview Paper

Digital Trade-Related Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements: Existing Models and Lessons for the Multilateral Trade System

By Mark Wu
November 2017
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The rapid growth and diffusion of internet and digital technologies are fast upending global trade. In the absence of a wide-ranging WTO mandate for digital trade, regional trade agreements (RTAs) have emerged as the primary laboratories for new rules and disciplines. This paper provides an overview of the types of provisions found within RTAs that impact e-commerce and digital trade, and discusses the prospects for greater convergence in digital trade-related agreements ahead.

The RTA Exchange, jointly implemented by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is a platform that convenes purposeful multi-stakeholder dialogues that work in the interest of constructing better trade and investment agreements for sustainable development at the regional and multilateral levels.

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