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THE TRADE POLICY IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW ECONOMY Pierre Sauv 1 Abstract This paper draws attention to a number of forces that are shaping the two way interaction between the emerging new economic landscape and the rules based trading system Implicit to the analysis is the question of whether the role of trade policy in an environment of more rapid technological diffusion differs in any significant manner from the role it has hitherto assumed The paper shows that important building blocks for the new economy were laid during the Uruguay Round notably in the fields of intellectual property protection trade and investment liberalisation in services and technical barriers to trade It shows that the period since the end of the Uruguay Round which paralleled the rise of what has come to be called the New Economy has seen concerted efforts at both the multilateral and regional levels to adapt the trading system to the realities of doing business in the digital age The New Economy lies at the heart of negotiations which recently resumed under the WTO s built in agenda in the services field Such negotiations offer WTO members an important opportunity to lock in the far reaching reforms and liberalisation efforts that many have in recent years enacted in industries that are heavy users of information and communications technologies The paper describes the important complementary role trade policy can play in helping countries harness the growth and development potential of the new economy 1 OECD Trade Directorate Paris and Center for Business and Government Harvard University Cambridge Massachussets The views expressed in this document are personal and should not be attributed to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or its Member countries The author is grateful to Barbara Fliess Ken Heydon Julia Nielson and Christopher Wilkie for helpful comments and suggestions 1 I Introduction This paper focuses on the interaction between trade policy and ongoing



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