October 28, 2019: A new article by Rahul Nath Choudhury in the The Interpreter outlines concern, particularly amongst developing countries, about the inclusion of e-commerce provisions in trade agreements. Many developing country governments, and civil society organisations, are concerned that the e-commerce agenda is an attempt by the US to establish international rules that suit big tech companies from developed countries, locking developing countries out of the digital economy.
October 3, 2019: A new article by Deborah James from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows how e-commerce rules in the WTO and other trade deals could limit developing countries’ ability to tax the business activities of transnational corporations, reducing much needed revenue for public services and the development of decent employment and to fund their digital industrialisation.
July 29, 2019: After an 18-month inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which is independent of government, has produced a Report on Digital Platforms with 23 recommendations for regulation to protect consumer privacy, prevent extremist and misleading digital content, address the market dominance of Facebook and Google and support public interest journalism.
July 11, 2019: A new article by Deborah James at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research has criticised the attempt by industrialised countries to use the WTO to establish new e-commerce rules that would increase the power of Big Tech corporations and restrict developing countries' digital industrialisation.
April 3, 2019: Over three hundred labour unions, consumer advocates and environmental organizations from all continents sent a letter on April 1, 2019, to World Trade Organization member nations expressing a "profound and urgent opposition" to talks that would establish new rules on digital trade.
February 27, 2019: Rich countries including Australia decided at the recent World Economic Forum meeting at Davos to push for an E-Commerce Agreement in the World Trade Organisation. Their formula is for ‘free digital trade’, for rules that suit global digital corporations – notably Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. This push has been strongly criticised by consumer and civil society groups.
February 13, 2019: Chakravarthi Raghavan, an esteemed author of several books on the WTO, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development, have issued a sharp warning to developing countries about the e-commerce initiative recently launched at Davos by a group of rich country governments, including Australia.
January 29, 2019: The elite business and government World Economic Forum meeting last week was a perfect setting for Australia and 70 other mostly industrialised country governments to announce exclusive plans for an e-commerce trade deal that was rejected after fierce debate by the majority of the 164 WTO members who met in Argentina in December.
8 October 2018: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), a remodelling of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), has serious implications for data privacy and usage for consumers in those countries and around the world according to Michael Geist in a Washington Post article.