G7 agree on rules for digital trade

Minister of the G7

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier represented Germany in the negotiations on digital trade.

(Photo: Reuters)

London The seven largest western industrialized countries (G7) have agreed on common rules for digital trade. A breakthrough had been achieved that could liberalize deals worth hundreds of billions of pounds, the British G7 presidency said on Friday following a trade ministers’ meeting in London.

The agreement is a compromise between the strict data protection of European countries and the more open approach of the USA. Among other things, it is about principles for cross-border data traffic, employee and consumer protection and digital trading systems.

The G7 rejected digital protectionism and authoritarianism, according to the communique published by the UK. In a supplementary document, the G7 write: “We should deal with unjustified obstacles to the flow of cross-border data and at the same time continue to take care of data protection, the protection of privacy and intellectual property, and security.”

A UK government official said the digital trade deal was the result of hard diplomatic work. “For years, the rules of the game around the world were like the Wild West.” That made it difficult for companies to take advantage of the immense opportunities that were offered.

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For Germany, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier took part in the meeting. After Great Britain, Germany will take over the G7 presidency in 2022.

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