Brookings Mountain West presents “International Trade, the Internet and Cross-Border Data Flows,” a talk by Joshua Meltzer, fellow, Global Economics and Development.
The Internet is an important driver of economic growth, underpinning the development of innovative companies such as Google, Facebook and eBay and increasingly affecting the ways in which everyone does business. Accompanying the growth of the Internet has been the ability for people, businesses and governments to change the way data is collected, shared and used. The Internet and the ability to move data freely across borders is also increasingly becoming an important driver of international trade, enabling businesses to reach consumers globally and helping entrepreneurs in developing countries overcome barriers to trade and reach global markets online. At the same time, governments are increasingly restricting the ability to transfer data across-border, diminishing the potential of the Internet and cross-border data flows to drive economic growth and affecting international trade. This lecture will discuss how international trade policy and law can be used to support an open and interoperable Internet and the cross-border flow of data while recognizing a role for government in addressing harms from online activity.