Commentary Type

Can NAFTA Forge a Global Approach to Internet Governance?

Diana Orejas (PIIE) and Catherine L. Mann (Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England)


How will national competition policy, tax regimes, and information protection fare in the increasingly global, technologically dynamic, and network-oriented Internet marketplace? Managing the tensions between national jurisdiction and international transactions will determine how much individuals, firms, and countries benefit from the Internet marketplace. NAFTA has already achieved agreements on trade and on intellectual property. Building on the NAFTA relationship, can the United States, Canada, and Mexico forge a broader, globally interoperable approach to Internet governance that could be a model for the world? The conclusion is that there is a NAFTA approach characterized by a practical, cooperative, and evolutionary approach to interpreting law, which embodies national preferences as well as achieves international interoperability. Coordination and cooperation of government authorities, businesses, and consumer advocates would be further deepened with explicit understandings and agreements in the key areas of competition policy, taxation, and information protection. However, exporting this model to parts of the world where a rules-oriented approach to policy and legislation reign will be difficult.

More From