The expansion of digital trade has been boosted significantly by the pandemic. Its rapid growth has produced calls for new taxes and regulations, and highlighted the need to develop an international governance framework. Policy discussions need to be based on accurate and up-to-date information, and that is where a new initiative from the Global Trade Alert (GTA) team at St. Gallen University in Switzerland should make an important contribution. The GTA ‘s timely monitoring of trade policy developments has become a key resource, especially in the COVID crisis. Now it is being extended to cover digital trade with the aim of improving transparency and informing policymakers. This presentation by Professor Simon Evenett, the founder of the GTA, will cover the methodology used in this monitoring in the context of earlier approaches. It will be of interest to everyone involved in this most dynamic sector of trade. Further background information can be found in the paper reproduced here.
About the Panellists
Simon J. Evenett is Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He founded the Global Trade Alert, the independent commercial policy monitoring initiative. Since the pandemic began the Global Trade Alert team has been actively monitoring trade and investment policies affecting supply chains in essential goods. Simon’s thought leadership on trade policy can be accessed here.
Eunice Huang leads Google’s trade policy work in the Asia-Pacific region and Google’s engagement with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Prior to her current role, she spent over a decade in the Singapore Government’s Administrative Service, working on a diverse range of issues including foreign policy, energy policy, trade policy and economic development. She also represented Singapore abroad, as political secretary in the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta and as Deputy Permanent Representative in the Singapore Permanent Mission to the WTO and WIPO. Eunice is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Oxford University.
Patrick Low is a Geneva-based consultant on trade and trade-related matters. He is a Fellow at the Asia Global Institute, Hong Kong. He is also Co-Chairman of the Board of the Friends of Multilateralism Group and Senior Adviser at Tulip Consulting. He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong (2016-19), and Vice-President for Research at the Fung Global Institute (2013-2015). He worked at the secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 1995 to 2013 and was WTO Chief Economist from 1997 to 2013. From 1999 to 2001 he also served as WTO Director-General Mike Moore’s Chief of Staff. During part of his time at the WTO Secretariat, he was an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (2004 -13), teaching trade policy and the political-economy/institutional aspects of international trade cooperation. He worked in the research complex at the World Bank from 1990-1994. Prior to that he was a Visiting Professor at El Colegio de México (1987-90). From 1980 to 1987, he was with the secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), where he worked in a variety of capacities. He holds BA and PhD degrees in economics and has written widely on a range of trade policy and related issues.