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Digital Trade Negotiation and Rule Competition——A Study Based on Text Quantification of Regional Trade Agreements

HAN Jian;CAI Ji-wei;XU Ya-yun;School of Business,Nanjing University;  
This paper sorts out the multilateral and bilateral digital trade provisions, the "American template"and the "European template" and the electronic commerce provisions of China's trade agreements. Using natural language processing analysis to compare and analyze the heterogeneity of these provisions, this paper has an empirical study on the factors affecting the digital trade provisions by countries. We find that the fragmentation of digital trade provisions under regionalism is serious, developed countries such as the United States, Singapore,Australia, and Canada often have strong negotiating power and play the role of rule-makers. China's cross-border e-commerce has great potential for development and plays an important role in promoting global digital trade governance. The larger the economy, the greater the economic similarity, and the closer the bilateral distance is,the more likely it is to sign trade agreements with digital trade provisions, the greater the gap in internet penetration, national risk and digital trade openness, the smaller the possibility of signing digital trade terms between large countries. In addition, the above factors also affect the heterogeneity of digital trade provisions. In the future, the direction of China's digital trade negotiations should give priority to the "Belt and Road" countries,in terms of specific provisions, internet access restrictions, data storage and source code issues should be gradually incorporated. While ensuring data security and gradually increase the openness of the digital domain, China must also find a balance between digital trade regulation and development.
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