G7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data

What is the News?

The Group of Seven (G7) countries have agreed on a joint set of principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade.

What is Digital Trade?

Digital trade is broadly defined as trade in goods and services that is either enabled or delivered digitally, encompassing activities from the distribution of films and TV to professional services.

What are the key provisions of the G7 Digital Trade Principles?

Open Digital Markets: Digital and telecommunications markets should be competitive, transparent, fair, and accessible to international trade and investment.

Cross Border Data Flows: To harness the opportunities of the digital economy, data should be able to flow freely across borders with trust, including the trust of individuals and businesses.

Safeguards for Workers, Consumers and Businesses: Labour protections must be in place for workers who are directly engaged in or support digital trade. They have to be provided decent conditions of work.

Digital Trading Systems: To cut red tape and enable more businesses to trade, governments and industries should drive forward the digitisation of trade-related documents. 

Fair and Inclusive Global Governance: Common rules for digital trade should be agreed upon and upheld at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Data Encryption: Businesses should not be required or coerced to transfer technology or provide access to source code or encryption keys as a condition of market access. At the same time, governments must retain sufficient flexibility to pursue legitimate regulatory goals, including health and safety.

What is the significance of the G7 Digital Trade Principles deal?

The deal is a first step in reducing trade barriers and could lead to a common rulebook of digital trade.

The deal also sets out a middle ground between highly regulated data protection regimes used in European countries and the more open approach of the United States.

Source: This post is based on the articleG7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data published in The Hindu on 24th October 2021.

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