Trade has never been so newsworthy—almost entirely for the wrong reasons, thanks in large part to the Trump administration reprising ‘beggar thy neighbor’
trade policies. That makes the virtual invisibility of the digital trade talks in Geneva remarkable.
At last year’s WTO ministerial in Buenos Aires, seventy-one countries made a political declaration
to launch a discussion on new global rules to facilitate the expansion of the digital economy in a way that is mutually beneficial to developed and developing countries. More than ninety countries routinely attend the monthly, two-day meetings. Most also send specialists from capitals, a sure sign that the talks are important. Moreover, thirteen written contributions
have been made since March 2018, collectively representing forty countries—another sign of intense interest.
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