E-commerce Joint Statement Initiative Negotiations Among World Trade Organization Members: State of play and the impacts of COVID-19

This paper provides an update on the e-commerce Joint Statement Initiative negotiations among a group of WTO members, looking at developments from early 2020 onward.

By Yasmin Ismail on April 29, 2021

The author describes how the negotiations have been affected by the new context of COVID-19 and highlights the pandemic’s impacts on e-commerce, economic development, and gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) aspects. Finally, the author gives an overview of the negotiations’ key issues where there are indications of convergence, and others where divergence remains, as the group prepares for the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12).

The author acknowledges substantive research support from Monica Werimo and Emmeline Perreve. This brief also benefitted from the review of Rashid S. Kaukab, Executive Director of CUTS International, Geneva and Sofia Baliño, Communications and Editorial Manager for IISD’s Economic Law and Policy program.

This material has been produced with funding by UK aid from the UK Government. The Umbrella Grant is a project of the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+) and is implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in consortium with CUTS International Geneva and BKP Economic Advisors.

Views expressed in the publication are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect HM Government’s official positions or those of the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+).

CUTS International Geneva

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IISD and CUTS International, 2021