Published February 8, 2023
Publication Source: KIEPDownload PDF
We use the Trade Agreements Provisions on Electronic Commerce and Data and their corresponding texts to undertake network and text analysis on trade agreements with digital trade chapters to identify which countries are important in the network and how similar or different their texts of digital trade chapters are. Centrality values reflect which countries are influential in the network, while values of similarity assess the level of similarity between the texts of digital trade chapters concluded by these countries. Centrality and similarity are complementary in assessing the relative positions of countries in the network, where the number of linkages between countries is significant in centrality and the quality of digital trade chapters is critical in similarity. We interpret this to mean that a country with a high degree of centrality is likely to be a rule-promoter in the network, whereas a country with a high degree of similarity is likely to be a rule-maker. The brief highlights three key findings from network and text analysis of digital trade agreements: (1) The U.S. has been the best rule-maker but not the best rule-promoter, whereas Singapore has been the best rule-promoter but not the best rule-maker. (2) China is a rule-maker, but to a weaker extent than the U.S., and Korea is a rule-promoter, although it is less active than Singapore. (3) Japan and Australia have served as both rule-makers and rule-promoters. Identification of countries’ relative positions in the network of digital trade agreements would be useful at the start of talks on digital trade policy.
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