Earlier this year Hanne Melin of the eBay Public Policy Lab team was invited to speak at a conference in Geneva hosted by the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), addressing the topic of regulatory coherence and the multilateral trading system. The seminar focused on how policies that inhibit international trade flows are increasingly regulatory in nature: differences in objectives, implementation and enforcement in regulatory regimes may lead to additional costs for foreign firms, particularly those from developing countries, looking to enter global markets.
Hanne was invited to share the perspective of small businesses engaged in cross-border trade, as well as contribute an article. That article has now been published and describes how platform-enabled trade offers a way for micro and small firms to participate directly in world trade as independent businesses. It points out that this provides a tool for realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of inclusive, sustainable economic growth and reduced inequality within and between countries. The article argues that International Regulatory Cooperation (IRC) has a role to play in promoting these SDGs by way of facilitating platform-enabled trade through solutions that bridge regulatory differences on a multilateral level. The article puts forward three suggestions where traditional IRC mechanisms are applied to the areas of diverging consumer rights, costly and opaque parcel delivery services, and sales/consumption taxes on distant sales.
We thank the ICTSD for inviting us to this important event and urge anyone with an interest in this subject to download and read the full article.