IGF 2019 WS #381 Unpacking Digital Trade Impacts: Calling all Stakeholders

Organizer 1: Peter Cihon, Center for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford
Organizer 2: Bruna Santos , Coding Rights
Organizer 3: Thomas Struett, American University
Organizer 4: Franco Giandana Gigena, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Organizer 5: Elisabeth Schauermann, German Informatics Society

Speaker 1: Helani Galpaya, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Christina Colclough, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Thomas Struett, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Sergio Garcia Alves Junior, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Wafa Ben-Hassine, Civil Society, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

What are the implications of today’s emerging international trade policies for the Internet and those who use it around the world? What are the expected outcomes and implications of efforts on digital taxation reform?

Trade policies constitute methods of internet governance, but are not necessarily subject to multistakeholder input. What multi-stakeholder policy advice should be taken into consideration in their formulation? To what extent do policy discussions and policies of international trade reflect human rights? What steps are being taken to see human rights supported by international trade? What does digital trade mean for the world’s workers? What does digital trade mean for national development in the Global South? What does international cooperation on digital trade hold for technology R&D for digital technologies?

Relevance to Theme: The governance of data is increasingly affected by trade policies. These include national and international rules on the international flow of digital goods and services, digital tax policies, and privacy adequacy decisions. This session will discuss the implications of these national and international rules for data governance across jurisdictions.

Relevance to Internet Governance: In the recent years, modern trade agreements might have been considered to regulate issues that would be better left to International fora discretion. Digital trade policy reflects and also contributes to the shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the Internet’s continued evolution. Trade negotiations often produce rules for Internet Governance or preserve adequate policy space for governments. Unfortunately, such discussions are driven by state-to-state dynamics and often lack transparency, in contrast to a multistakeholder model of Internet Governance. Therefore, this present session seeks to foster a conversation between stakeholders about recent developments in the digital trade area.

Format: 

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Description: This present submission, as explained above, aims to discuss the subject of digital trade as well, policy development processes dedicated to this area and its direct impacts on society. In order to enable a fair and open discussion around practices and problems, the session moderator will frame the discussion with brief introductory remarks on the need for multistakeholder input into policy development processes ongoing in governance fora that impact the Internet, such as G20, OECD, and WTO. After the initial remarks, the panelists discussion will be divided into three parts: (a) Unpacking discussions and development of digital trade norms and policies, (b) Unpacking the societal impacts of digital trade and (c) Multistakeholder collaboration, the only way forward; followed each by a Q&A session.
The proposed dynamics will allow stakeholders/panelists to firstly dive into the development of trade norms and their relation to national governments, internet taxation, the role played by international trade institutions and so on. On its second part, the session will be dedicated to the impacts posed to society by digital trade practices. For that topics such as labor, Human Rights in the Digital age and development will be addressed by speakers. Lastly, in order to come up with a policy advice document, we will ask the speakers one question: What multi-stakeholder policy advice should be taken into consideration in the formulation of digital trade norms and agreements.

Proposed agenda:
Introduction (5 minutes)
Moderator will frame the discussion with brief introductory remarks on the need for multistakeholder input into policy development processes ongoing in trade governance fora that impact the Internet, particularly the G20, OECD, and WTO.

Part I: Unpacking discussions and development of digital trade norms and policies (15 minutes)
Audience Q&A (10 minutes)

Relation to national governments, taxation
Relation to larger globalization and international trade institutions
Relation to geopolitical tensions in technology development
Address steps are being taken to see human rights supported by international trade

Part II: Unpacking the societal impacts of digital trade (15 minutes):
Audience Q&A (10 minutes)

Impact on development
Impact on labor (address how digital trade mean for world’s workers)
Human rights impacts
Address national developments in the global south

Part III: Multistakeholder collaboration, the only way forward (15 minutes)
Audience Q&A (15 minutes)

What multi-stakeholder policy advice should be taken into consideration in the formulation of digital trade norms and agreements?

Closing Remarks

Expected Outcomes: The session will foster a multistakeholder dialogue on the developments in and impacts of digital trade. These insights from the session will be captured in an output document drafted by the session organizers and interested attendees (an invitation will be made during the session). The document will assemble policy advice for digital trade policymaking fora on multi-stakeholder principles and values that should be taken into consideration in the formulation of digital trade policies. This document will be shared directly with the relevant fora and made available to the MAG.

Onsite Moderator: 

Bruna Santos , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator: 

Franco Giandana Gigena, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Rapporteur: 

Elisabeth Schauermann, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

In order to enable a fair and open discussion around practices and problems, the session moderator will frame the discussion with brief introductory remarks, after that, the proposed session will be divided into three parts of speakers interventions followed by a Q&A in order to allow audience to bring their views and inputs to the session. Another important factor to encourage interaction was the selected session format - Round Table - U-shape. By seating both audience and panelists at the same table, we believe this will allow us to have a more frank and open conversation on the proposed subject.

Online Participation: 

Both online and onsite moderators will work together on ensuring that remote participation is also welcomed to this session and remote questions will have priority at the Q&A moments, as we plan to have the discussion promoted at the online participation tool as the 6th panelist.

SDGs: 

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals