300 NGOs Demand No New E-Commerce Agenda At WTO Ministerial 11/10/2017 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Some 300 global nongovernmental organisations have signed a letter voicing concerns about the agenda of the upcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in December. In particular, they target the alleged push by some countries for a new agenda on digital trade, which they describe as “wrong.” The 11th WTO Ministerial meeting will take place in Buenos Aires on 10-13 December. The letter [pdf] addressed to WTO members describes a push for “a dangerous and inappropriate new agenda under the disguising rubric of ‘e-commerce’, while there is no consensus to introduce this new issue during or since the last WTO Ministerial conference.” The NGOs also request a change in existing WTO rules to allow more policy space for government for development and achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. On the e-commerce proposed agenda, the letter says the push by some countries with the rationale that small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries would benefit from larger access to e-commerce is unfounded as SMEs are the least likely to be able to compete with giant transnational corporations. The current proposals, they say, include prohibiting requirements to hold data locally, no border taxes on digital products, and prohibitions on regulating cross-border data transfers. Data is now the most valuable resource, and privacy and data protection are fundamental human rights and they cannot be abandoned in the interests of trade, they argue. “Locking in rules in the WTO to allow corporations to transfer data around the world without restrictions would forever deny the right of countries,” they said. “We need trade rules that allow for the creation of decent jobs, including in the technology sector,” says the letter. “But the hallmarks of companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Uber include dislocation of local businesses and labor markets.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "300 NGOs Demand No New E-Commerce Agenda At WTO Ministerial" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.