Publication Type

Transatlantic Issues in Electronic Commerce

Catherine L. Mann (Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England)
Working Papers 00-7


The global and dynamic e-commerce marketplace will increasingly impact the nature of national and international economic and government relations. This paper highlights three areas where the United States and European Union (EU) governments differ in their approaches as to how best to serve their domestic constituencies: treatment of trade flows, approach to tax regimes, manner of protecting personal data. Because the Internet marketplace is global but policy jurisdictions remain local, policy conflicts can develop. Policymakers on both sides need to harness technology and promote incentives for the private sector to help solve problems caused by the jurisdictional overlap. In addition to cross-border jurisdictional overlap, problems within a country can develop from issue convergence and policy overlap. That is, because the e-commerce marketplace is so integrated, the policy toward handling one issue, even within the national context, has implications for the policy set that is available to policymakers on other issues. Therefore, policies within a country must be more carefully meshed with each other with an eye toward consistency in the face of the forces of electronic commerce.

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