Tag: Digital Trade

The “Renaissance” of the EU-US Trade Relationship: Tensions and Progress in a Fast-Moving Digital World

Giulio Kowalski

The EU-US trade partnership is the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship between the largest economies in the world (the EU economy accounts for 25.1% of global GDP and the US one represents 21.6%). Although bilateral, the EU-US trade partnership heavily impacts the global economy given that the EU or the US (or both) are the most important business partners for most countries worldwide. Furthermore, although the role of China as the EU’s import source for goods has greatly expanded in the last years, the US remains the EU’s largest trade and investment partner.

After the tensions characterizing the “Trump era” (e.g., US tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium recently suspended for a two-year period), the EU-US partnership on trade seems to be experiencing its “Renaissance”. The new Biden administration may provide a chance for a renovated transatlantic partnership, centred on cooperation over global challenges such as climate change and the concerns originating from the digitalisation of the economy. With regard to the latter issue, the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (EU-US TTC), established in June 2021 following an EU-US Summit, proves the improvement in the EU-US relation. In particular, one of the Council’s main goals is to strengthen the EU-US global cooperation on technology, digital issues and supply chains. The summit served to reiterate the EU-US commitment over the reform of the WTO’s negotiating function and dispute settlement system. Nonetheless, as will be extensively illustrated in the following, tensions do not seem to have been dispelled completely (e.g., the suspension of aluminium and steel tariffs is only temporary).
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The “Multidimensional” Law of Facebook

Giulio Kowalski

A lot has been said about Facebook being an incumbent digital platform threatening competition on the markets (and arguably much more remains to be said). However, the ‘law of Facebook’ incorporates different dimensions ‒ e.g., public, international, transnational, European, comparative ‒ that are at least as important as competition law and policy. It is with this premise in mind that the Jean Monnet Chair in Law & Transatlantic Relations, City Law School and the Institute for the Study of European Law (ISEL) at City Law School hosted a webinar to shed light on these further dimensions of the law of Facebook and discuss whether it can function as a blueprint to understand legal issues ‒ and engineer possible solutions ‒ concerning the law of big techs in general. Let’s delve into the central matters discussed by the panellists concerning the multidimensional law of Facebook.

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Work in progress: The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement as a “platform” for shaping future trade relationships

Giulio Kowalski

After four years of turbulent discussions and 1,400 pages of complex provisions, the EU and the UK (the “Parties”) signed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on 24 December 2020. Now that the much-feared risk of a no-deal Brexit seems to have been avoided, it could be high time to start digging into the details of the TCA and critically assess whether it is an effective and all-encompassing regulation or just a “platform” created in view of future negotiations and developments in the EU/UK (trading) relationships.

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New UK- Singapore trade agreement could help shape global rules on digital trade

David Collins

The UK signed two more free trade agreements (FTAs) this past week, adding to the already impressive total of 57 and nearly £200 billion worth of trade that many sceptics had felt would be impossible once outside the EU’s protective sphere. By making further ground in Asia (after the success with Japan) the UK is in a strong position to help establish global rules in the vitally important sphere of digital trade, now one of the focal points of economic activity in many sectors.

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The new UK-Japan CEPA bodes well for Digital Trade

David Collins

It scarcely needs repeating that trade in digital products and services has become essential to the economy of both the UK and the world. The Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated this trend, with the result that rules governing this sphere of economic activity will only become more important over time. While it has lagged relative to other areas, international law governing digital trade is beginning to take shape and the UK quite rightly aims to be at the forefront of these developments.

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