International Law Prof Blog

Founded in 2009, the philosophy of Trade, Law and Development has been to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in international economic law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and distribution of ideas. In keeping with these ideals, the Board of Editors is pleased to announce “Trade and Technology: Rebooting Global Trade for the Digital Millennium” as the theme for its next Special Issue (Vol. XIII, No. 1).

The WTO framework emerged out of the requirement to promote comparative advantages of countries in the post-Industrial Revolution era. However, the developments that followed via Ministerial Conferences, Council discussions and Appellate Body Reports have not moved away from the traditional methods of trading involving brick-and-mortar factories, recognized fiat currency, etc. With the unstoppable growth in digital innovation and dense proliferation of the Internet and ICTs, International Economic Law and its framers must go back to the negotiating table to chalk out a novel framework relevant for the new digital millennium.

E-Commerce emerged as the virtual marketplace connecting consumers to sellers across borders. Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds enormous potential to solve efficiency deficits in manufacturing, public health and education. 3D Printing is expected to meet demand shortages of essentials like hearing aids. Blockchain and Digital Currencies could change payments and banking services as we know it along with possible implications for trade finance opportunities. This Issue aims to foster stimulating discussions on what these developments mean for trade as we know it.

In addition to these developments, the COVID-19 outbreak provides strong impetus for countries to relook their digital trade and investment policies as reliance on digital resources increase. While some steps have been taken to include digital technologies in regional trade agreements, a more comprehensive and cohesive framework is yet to emerge in this regard.

Moreover, given the significance of these issues, governments across the world have begun implementing rules and regulations for data privacy, cyber security, etc. The differences across regulatory regimes could cause problems as to their interoperability across countries. The impact of these regulations on the international trade level is yet to be seen.

An illustrative list of areas under the theme that authors could write upon are:

  • E-commerce
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Implications for Trade Facilitation
  • Blockchain
  • Data Protection and Security
  • Competitiveness and Digital Taxation
  • Digital Divide between Advanced Economies and Developing World
  • Impact on Investment
  • Trade Policy
  • Implications for Gender Equality

These sub-issues are not exhaustive, and the Journal is open to receiving submissions on all aspects related to Trade and Technology and its impact on the global trading system. This special issue, currently scheduled for publication in Summer 2021, will provide an ideal platform to deliberate on such issues related to trade and technology. Accordingly, the Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development is pleased to invite original, unpublished manuscripts for the Special Issue on Trade and Technology: Rebooting Global Trade for the Digital Millennium for publication as ‘Articles’, ‘Notes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Book Reviews’.

Manuscripts may be submitted via e-mail or ExpressO. For further information about the Journal, please click here. For submission guidelines, please click here.