Forget Kim Kardashian: data tariffs could break the internet

A digital tariff system is unnecessary: other means exist to tackle potential revenue losses from digitalisation

8th December, 2019
Forget Kim Kardashian: data tariffs could break the internet
The digitalisation of physical goods to services such as Netflix has resulted in a loss of tariff revenues

Most people have never heard of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. And yet it may be one of the most important trade deals in recent history, given the outsized effect it has had on the growth of the internet.

The moratorium – which has been renewed by WTO member states every two years since 1998 – has enabled the digital economy to flourish by prohibiting governments from applying...

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