The TPP and the Digital Economy the Agreement’s Potential as a Benchmark for Future Rule-Making

  • Simon LaceyEmail author
Part of the Economics, Law, and Institutions in Asia Pacific book series (ELIAP)


The way things are quickly changing in the internet economy is important from the standpoint of regulation (and thus government actors and policymakers), since legislative and regulatory frameworks that are too restrictive may tend to inhibit the emergence of new business models or may impede the adoption of innovative products and solutions that have the potential to disrupt established business models and those interests that are behind them. This is in fact the very problem we continue to encounter today and that confront a range of recent innovations, but is particularly visible in the battles being waged over different platforms and services that have emerged in the so-called “sharing economy” [For more on the sharing economy see Telles (2016)]. This chapter examines some of the negotiating outcomes achieved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other negotiating fora on rules for the digital economy. This chapter also discusses whether or not the tentative negotiating outcomes achieved in the TPP can be considered the starting point for an emerging international consensus on these rules. Although now very probably defunct as an economic integration project, the TPP still constitutes a helpful starting point given that it nevertheless constitutes an agreed body of rules concluded between a very diverse set of developing and advanced economies with a distinctly divergent set of objectives and approaches when it comes to regulating certain aspects of the internet economy.


Trans-Pacific Partnership Digital economy E-commerce Information and communications technology ICT Trade rules for the digital economy Regional Comprehensive Investment Partnership Trade in Services Agreement Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership 



Doctoral candidate at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law and Vice-President Global Government Affairs at Huawei Technologies. The view expressed in this chapter are solely those of the author and are not attributable to either UNSW or Huawei. The author would like to thank James Lockett, Colin Picker and Heng Wang for valuable feedback and input. Any inaccuracies or omissions remain solely the fault of the author.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huawei Technologies and University of New South WalesShenzhenChina

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