On Thursday, April 22nd, 2021, 11:00-12:30 EST, Virginia Tech will be hosting an event by the name of Developing Transatlantic Digital Trade: What are the obstacles? The panel discussion will bring together researchers from academia – including Professor Duina – and think tanks, politicians, and high-ranking civil servants. The event will be held jointly by the Center for European Union, Transatlantic, and Trans-European Space Studies and the European Parliament Liaison Office, Washington D.C.

The event is described on the website as follows:

Digital services, e-commerce, and other technology-intensive trade in services have become critical drivers of international trade in recent decades, with digital services assuming even greater importance to economies across the world in the Covid era. In addition to more familiar questions of data security and privacy, the digital economy is also presenting challenges to other areas of international economic relations and governance. National differences over taxation of digital services are also producing confrontation over competition for innovation and international market access by technology firms.

Nowhere have these issues emerged more strongly than in trade and economic relations between the United States and the European Union. In 2017, US digital services exports amounted to over $400 billion, estimated to directly and indirectly support over 1.4 million American jobs. The EU is one of the top markets for US digital exports as well as the largest provider of digital services to the US economy. The great importance of  transatlantic digital trade to the US and the EU has generated a number of critical policy issues in bilateral economic relations, such as questions of data privacy and security, the regulation of business cross-border activities of digital service providers, and the taxation of digital services. Questions of data regulation and taxation have spilled over into issues of competition and innovation and market access for firms on both sides of the Atlantic.

For more information and to register, please see the Virginia Tech announcement here.

Portrait of Francesco DuinaFrancesco Duina is Professor of Sociology at Bates College (USA), where he is also a member of the European Studies Program Committee. His research and interests lie at the intersection of international political economic and economic sociology, with a special focus on EU policy making, legal compliance, and trade relations. He has written extensively on comparative regionalism (the EU, NAFTA, Mercosur, ASEAN, etc.). His articles have appeared in journal such as the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of European Integration, Review of International Political Economy, Regulation & Governance, and Economy and Society. He has authored six books, including The Social Construction of Free Trade: The EU, NAFTA, and Mercosur (Princeton University Press 2006) and Institutions and the Economy (Polity Press 2011). He was on the editorial board of the Journal of European Public Policy during 2010-2015. He has held appointments at Harvard University (USA) and the University of British Columbia (Canada), where he was Professor and Head of Sociology during 2013-2015.