ICC Secretary General calls for urgent response to digital protectionism

  • 29 April 2019

In a letter published in the Financial Times today, International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, John W.H. Denton has called for an urgent, systemic response to the challenge of digital protectionism.

Responding to anticipated Chinese curbs on data transfers, Mr Denton highlights how the balkanization of data flows and digital services by major economies could be averted through negotiation of new rules on e-commerce under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, which 75 governments signed up to in January.

Mr Denton said that the talks – welcomed by ICC as a major step forward in efforts within the WTO to enable e-commerce in support of sustainable development and small-business growth – would provide an opportunity for governments to align behind a balanced set of global rules for cross-border data flows.

“The use of data localization measures by major economies has more than trebled over the past decade,” wrote Mr Denton. “All of us who believe in effective governance as a means of maximizing the benefits of the digital economy have a responsibility to ensure this deal gets done.

Read Mr Denton’s letter in full on the Financial Times website.