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Pressure mounts for WTO to update digital trade rules

Despite the digital economy developing greatly worldwide, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) digital trade rules have remained, reports Beijing's China Global Television Network

16 May 2021 - 19:00
Despite the digital economy developing greatly worldwide, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) digital trade rules have remained, reports Beijing's China Global Television Network.

CGTN's research shows that there will be a shared progression of digital trade rules between the WTO and China, which has been a member of the organization for 20 years.



Also, since WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took office in February, digital trade rule reforms are facing greater challenges.



Digital trade obscures trade in services and goods, leading to the applicability problem of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).



Meanwhile, the agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which came into effect in 1995 is expected to have difficulty addressing all of the current questions regarding the protection of intellectual property in the digital economy.



As of March 2021, a total of 600 trade dispute cases have been submitted to the WTO, of which 66 cases involve China.



There are 76 participants that possess almost 90 per cent of the total volume of global trade, indicating that the main countries are keen to join a series of fair international trade rules including those on digital trade.



CGTN said China should adjust its domestic rules system to accommodate the requirements of WTO digital trade rules. Furthermore, China's regulation system of digital trade has been updated under the constraint of the WTO framework.



Lastly, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will continue to improve the participation of developing countries in ecommerce.



China has fulfilled its commitment to join the WTO, while the Chinese economy has developed, but China has revised relevant laws and regulations to make them consistent with WTO rules related to tariffs, anti-dumping etc.



2015 regional trades with Australia and South Korea consisted of China's implementation of duty-free customs on electric transmissions proposed by the WTO. The nation has also strengthened the disclosure of anti-monopoly information for the platform economy.


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