Connecting the Dots: How Recent Trade Agreements Are Regulating the Digital Economy

The Conference Board of Canada, 16 pages, May 31, 2022
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This issue briefing looks at how recent trade agreements are regulating the digital economy, and what the federal government needs to do to regulate the digital economy in Canada.

Document Highlights

Connecting the dots between trade agreement commitments and domestic policy is vital in regulating the digital economy in Canada. This issue briefing looks at what Canada needs to do. Some highlights:

  • Recent trade agreements are shaping the digital economy, often before domestic governments have acted with their own laws and regulations in pertinent areas.
  • As Canada seeks to revamp law and policy for the digital economy, a growing risk area is divergence between our international obligations and our domestic laws and policies.
  • Trade secrets are the go-to intellectual property for algorithms, data, and secret processes and formulas, but Canada’s law, policy, and enforcement in this area are uncertain and weak, even as trade agreements impose requirements for stricter regulation and enforcement.
  • Canada needs to adopt a posture that is proactive, not responsive, and that contemplates the impact of such provisions on its domestic law and policy goals.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Introduction
Canada’s Traditional Trading Profile Is Changing
What Is the Digital Economy?
New Trade Agreements Enhance Existing Basic Protections
How Recent Trade Agreements Regulate the Digital Economy
Conclusion

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Bibliography

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