The rise of information and communication technologies is changing productive structure and trade relations worldwide. As stated by the WTO “digital innovation is creating new products, new markets, and creatively disrupting our old brick-and-mortar economy. These digital technologies promise to transform global trade by reducing search and information costs, by creating new sources of comparative advantage, and enabling new players to emerge”. Digital trade has transformed the way products and services are exchanged, arising new challenges for countries, which policymakers need to tackle in order to benefit from this new conditions for their development. This paper reviews how new trade negotiations in Latin America had deal with Digital Trade. We look in particular those commitments included within the Pacific Alliance economies, ie. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, in order to identify the way in which these countries are facing the challenges derived from digital transformation.
The Pacific Alliance, a regional integration scheme conformed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru has become one of the leading regional processes in the region. Based on a pragmatic agenda, its objective id to enhance economic integration amongst member countries, and face the challenges of trade and development, particularly those coming from the Asia Pacific region. Although being stated as the most important regional trade agreement within the Americas in the present century, the Pacific Alliance´s work on intellectual property has been minor, as opposed to treaties such as CPTTP where IP become the core of the negotiations . For instance, its Trade Protocol do not have a IP-related chapter, and the working group on IP has based it work on patent cooperation schemes. This paper analyze the Pacific Alliance work on Intellectual property, looking into the legal and political economy behind the lack of advances within this area.
Chile is well-known for its aggressive open trade policy, which has evolved to comprehensive international instruments. Lately, Chile has become pioneer in the inclusion of gender-perspective into trade agreements by the addition of gender-related chapters into FTAs with Canada, Uruguay, and Argentina, and in the Pacific Alliance work. We analyze declarations and legal texts to look into the motivations and impact of gender inclusion. Their non-binding characteristics -not subject to dispute resolution mechanisms- suggest that their inclusion reflects governments political will, with no or little legal or economic relevance. Nevertheless, they may become stepping-stone towards a gender-oriented trade policy.
The Pacific Alliance pragmatism has led to the subscription of some commitments and the implementation of various cooperation programs between member countries, without the need to incorporate them into a single package. The main purpose of this article is to answer two questions: Whether the Pacific Alliance countries had given a better treatment on services liberalization to its developed countries partners (EU and US) than amongst them? How could the Pacific Alliance members' services liberalization commitments at WTO and FTA converge to a single agreement? This article reviews the trade in services aspects of the PA members. First, we review the existing commitments on services liberalization of the Pacific Alliance members in the World Trade Organization (GATS). Second, studying the commitments on member's Free Trade Agreements, particularly with the US and EU comparing them with those amongst them. Finally, an agenda on services liberalization for the PA is proposed.