I’m happy to share new working paper titled ‘The TPP and the digital trade agenda: Digital industrial policy and Silicon Valley’s influence on new trade agreements‘, written by Shamel Azmeh and myself.
In the paper we explore the growing focus on data and digital information flows in new trade deals such as the TPP, and explore some of the motivations behind this trend.
For a more accessible outline, see the medium article we wrote
One of the most commented upon elements of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the inclusion of new rules around digital information flows and digital data. In particular, we have seen civil society and technology commentators criticising some of the rules within the agreement — on source code, data localisation and intermediaries — that they suggest will be detrimental to a secure, open and competitive digital sector.
What has been less discussed is the reason why these rules are part of such an agreement. We suggest that many of the problems identified so far are purely collateral damage emerging from the main goal of digital clauses of the TPP — an aim by Silicon Valley to nip in the bud the expansion of ‘digital protectionism’ (or what we prefer to call ‘digital industrial policy’!).