Also available in Spanish

Digital Trade Rules

A disastrous new constitution for the global economy written by and for Big Tech

Deborah James, 2020

The largest corporations in the history of the world – Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft – are seeking to use ‘trade’ rules to rig the rules of the global (digital) economy to enable them to collect more data, exercise more control over our lives and their workers, and amass ever more profit. More than 80 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are currently negotiating a new agreement on digital trade based on these proposals. This paper seeks to explain how these corporations operate in order to achieve their goals; what the potential impacts of the rules would be on workers, citizens, communities, developing countries, public services, safety and security, and democracy itself; what the alternatives are; and what we can do to stop this mass corporate takeover.

Download: Read the full text (pdf)

Book launch and panel discussion webinar (16 July 2020)


- Deborah James, author of “Digital trade rules: a disastrous new constitution for the global economy written by and for Big Tech”, director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, and coordinator of the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network

- Rashmi Banga, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Switzerland

- Caroline Khamati Mugalla, East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC), Tanzania

- Kate Lappin, Regional Secretary Asia and Pacific, Public Services International (PSI), France

Moderated by Dr Roland Kulke, transform! europe

License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

The presentations are available at