ModeratorJeremy Malcolm, Senior Global Policy Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation
The digital issues that are being treated in trade agreements are rapidly extending from those that are closely analogous to rules on trade in goods (such as duties and market access restrictions) to those that are further removed (such as rules on spam, network neutrality, and country-code domain names). Yet there has been very limited debate over the appropriate limits of this expansion, and its intersection with existing process norms around multi-stakeholder Internet governance.
In the context of the recent multi-stakeholder Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet which addresses this tension, this workshop will bring together experts from civil society, business and academia to examine the extent to which an inclusive trade policy process inspired by multistakeholderism could redefine the boundaries and promote best practices in digital trade policy. The workshop will discuss a range of options for improving the openness and inclusiveness of trade negotiations on digital issues, drawing on best practices developed (and under development) in other venues. The possible role of the WTO in promoting more inclusive standards for trade negotiations (perhaps including an expansion of its Transparency Mechanism for regional FTAs) will also be discussed.