Archive Recent Events

New Avenues to Govern Cross-Border Information Flows

Monday, November 14, 2016
12PM- 2pm
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Lindner Commons, 6th Floor

The Institute for International Economic Policy, along with the sponsorship of the Software and Information Industry Association, is hosting a panel discussion on November 14 as part of our continuing work on digital trade. The panel will analyze the work being done at the World Trade Organization in the e-commerce work program and in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The TPP may not be successful in the following months, but negotiations continue at the WTO.

Cross-border data flows are the life-blood of an integrated world economy.  They support manufacturing and service supply chains and enable the flow of diverse and innovative goods and services to customers all over the world. But domestic policies must allow for these flows.  In the last several years, we have seen increasing attempts to close down the flow of information across borders – through requirements for domestic location of computer facilities and explicit bans on the transfer of data into or out of countries.  While domestic policy space must be large enough to permit legitimate regulations such as privacy and consumer protection, it should also ensure that these measures are no more restrictive than necessary to accomplish these purposes. The TPP was the first trade agreement to include binding provisions regarding these flows, but it has not yet been approved by any government.  But there are additional avenues to discuss cross-border data flows. They include:

  •  the Trade in Services Agreement being negotiated at the WTO
  • the WTO E-Commerce working group
  • bilateral discussions, discussions and resolutions at meetings of international economic leaders such as the G7 and the G20.  Herein we focus on what’s happening at the multilateral level at the WTO.

Join us for a discussion with a panel of experts and advocates on these avenues.

  • Organizers
    • Susan Aaronson, Ph.D. GWU
    • Mark MacCarthy, Ph.D. Software and Information Industry Association
  • Speakers
    • Sam Dupont,  Director for Digital Trade, USTR
      • Sam duPont serves in the Office of Services and Investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where his portfolio focuses on issues of digital trade and investment security. He supports USTR’s work in negotiating the e-commerce and telecommunications chapters of U.S. free trade agreements, and works to advance U.S. digital trade objectives in multilateral forums.
    • Michael Joseph Ferrantino, World Bank
      • Michael J. Ferrantino is Lead Economist and Global Product Specialist for Trade Policy and Integration at the World Bank. Prior to joining the Bank, he was Lead International Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he served from 1994 to 2013. Michael’s published research spans a wide array of topics relating to international trade, including non-tariff measures and trade facilitation, global value chains, the relationship of trade to the environment, innovation, and productivity, and U.S.-China trade. He has taught at Southern Methodist, Youngstown State, Georgetown, American, and George Washington Universities, and partnered on research projects with APEC, OECD, WTO, and the World Economic Forum.
    • Carl Schonander, Senior Director International Policy, SIIA
      • Carl Schonander is the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) Senior Director for International Public Policy. He advocates for SIIA’s international policy interests. Those interests include the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the Digital Single Market, cross-border data flows, intellectual property, trade (especially as future trade agreements pertain to data flows), privacy, and Internet governance. Schonander participated in an international group charged with providing recommendations in 2016 for enhancing the accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Schonander was a member of the Atlantic Council’s “Task Force on Advancing the Digital Agenda”, which issued a report on U.S.-EU Digital cooperation in 2016. Schonander is a former U.S. diplomat. Schonander has a Masters of Law degree in Intellectual Property Rights from George Washington University, Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a JD from the University of Stockholm. He speaks Swedish, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
    • Deborah James, Director, International Programs, Center for Economic and Policy Research
      • Deborah James has over fifteen years of expertise working on issues of trade and democratic global governance. At CEPR, her work focuses on the World  Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and US policy towards Latin America. Prior to CEPR, she was the Director of the WTO Program of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, where she worked to inform civil society and governments worldwide about the potential impacts of the WTO’s proposed Doha Round expansion.
    • Moderator: Research Professor and Cross-disciplinary Fellow Susan Aaronson, Ph.D. GWU
      • Susan Ariel Aaronson is Research Professor of International Affairs and GWU Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is currently the Carvalho Fellow at the Government Accountability Project and was the former Minerva Chair at the National War College. Aaronson’s research examines the relationship between economic change and human rights. She is currently directing projects on digital trade and protectionism, repression and civil conflict; transparency as a tool to promote labor rights and good governance; trade liberalization and public health; and whistleblowers at international organizations such as the UN and WIPO. Dr. Aaronson is a frequent speaker on public understanding of globalization issues and international economic developments. Dr. Aaronson is a member of Working Group 2 of the Freedom Online Coalition; the Advisory Board for Human Rights Under Pressure; and the Advisory Board of Business and Human Aaronson is also the Director of the eBay Policy Scholars and worked with Professor Esther Brimmer to develop a new international affairs curriculum on international Internet issues for GWU. In recent years, she has been a pro-bono advisor to the UN Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.