Member states of the WTO are currently engaged in the e-commerce talks, intended to establish international rules for the flow of digital goods and services. On December 10, WTO member states agreed to extend the moratorium on international duties for electronic transmissions until the upcoming Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Kazakhstan in June. Whether streaming Spotify, using Google Maps, or purchasing a good on Amazon, cross-border data flows are the key component underpinning the international digital economy. The decision by individual countries or certain regions to raise barriers to digital trade could significantly hinder the flow of data that so many people and industries have come to take for granted. International rules and regulations help ensure certainty in this digital marketplace, fostering innovation and cohesion in an increasingly complex global economy.

Emily Benson
Manager, Transatlantic Legislative Relations