The Future of Digital Trade Policy and the Role of the U.S. and UK

International trade policy is at an inflection point, particularly for the United States and the United Kingdom. Brexit negotiations will ultimately result in a new trading relationship between the UK and the EU at some point in the future and the evolution of a Global Britain trade policy. The U.S. government is also exploring profound changes to existing and future multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements. The future trading framework for the fastest growing area of transatlantic trade is also at an inflection point: digital trade and ecommerce. The United Kingdom is America’s biggest trading partner of digitally-enabled services: it account for 23% of U.S. exports and 29% of U.S. imports of digitally deliverable services from the EU. Both the U.S. and the UK are leading global digital innovators and critical players in the supply chain of digital goods and services. What does the digital trade future hold for both countries and how they can they harness their digital dynamism, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech? How will measures to protect data evolve and how will they be captured in future trade agreements? Where are the opportunities and what are the obstacles to growing digital trade and global commerce?

The CSIS Lillan and Robert D. Stuart Jr. Center in Euro-Atlantic and Northern European Studies and the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business, in cooperation with the UK-based Institute of Directors and Chatham House, are undertaking a new research initiative that will analyze current and future transatlantic digital trade patterns and develop a roadmap for future U.S.-UK digital trade with the generous support from Google.