WTO members debate on cybersecurity and digital trade issues

WTO members debate on cybersecurity and digital trade issues

The WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) held its regular meeting on 22-23 June 2023, where members discussed various topics related to cybersecurity and digital trade, as well as raised over 60 trade concerns.

Some members proposed to develop international standards and guidelines for cybersecurity, while others argued that existing frameworks were sufficient and flexible. Members also exchanged views on the definition and classification of intangible digital products, such as software, e-books, and online games, and their implications for trade rules and regulations.

Additionally, members raised over 60 trade concerns, mostly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as measures affecting medical devices, personal protective equipment, vaccines, and test kits. Other trade concerns included measures affecting food products, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cosmetics, textiles, and electric vehicles.

The TBT Committee oversees the implementation of the TBT Agreement, which aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. The next regular meeting of the committee is scheduled for 9-10 November 2023.


Reference: World Trade Organisation (2023), Members discuss cybersecurity, intangible digital products, raise over 60 trade concerns, https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news23_e/tbt_23jun23_e.htm, Accessed on 26.07.2023