The digital trade imbalance – Lunch talk with Susan Aaronson
Open Brown-Bag Lunch
Lunch talk with Susan Aaronson: The digital trade imbalance
At The Intersection of Cross-Border Information Flows and Human Rights: TPP as a case study
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 · 1pm · HIIG Kitchen
Policymakers struggle to govern the Internet and Internet providers, which are global, with laws, regulations, and norms that are national. Trade agreements provide a way to solve this governance dilemma, but they are not without flaws. In this presentation, Aaronson discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), how it governs information flows, and how it could affect TTIP (the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership-a trade agreement between the US and the EU nations).
The US argues that TPP “promotes e-Commerce, protects digital freedom, and preserves an Open Internet” because it limits data protectionism, makes the free flow of information a default, and allows TPP signatories to challenge censorship and filtering as trade barriers. But the Obama Administration has the analysis half right. If TPP is approved by the twelve member states, it could help advance cross-border information flows. However, TPP barely mentions users and does little to protect digital rights. Moreover, should TPP go into effect, governments can rely on the agreement’s exceptions to continue to block, filter, and censor information flows. Aaronson will make suggestions for how to better policies to promote digital trade with policies to advance digital rights.
Susan Ariel Aaronson is Research Professor and Cross-Disciplinary Felllow at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA, as well as the Cavalho Fellow at the Government Accountability Project. Her research looks at the intersection of trade, human rights, and the rule of law.
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