, Volume 62, Issue 1–4, pp 58–65 | Cite as

Anti-development Impacts of Tax-Related Provisions in Proposed Rules on Digital Trade in the WTO

  • Deborah JamesEmail author
Thematic Section


The ability of developing countries to achieve the SDGs will depend in large part on their ability to mobilize resources including through taxation. But new proposed rules in the WTO are threatening all countries’ ability to generate fiscal revenues through taxing the activity of transnational corporations. Under the guise of new talks on ‘e-commerce’, the largest TNCs are seeking to rig international rules to prevent governments from being able to assess tariffs on international transactions, as well as to assess taxes on corporate profits. If the talks in the WTO result in a binding agreement, the fastest-growing and most profitable sectors of the economy will be permanently released from the responsibility of contributing to the social and physical infrastructure on which their businesses are based, and governments will be unable to meet the social and development needs of their populations.


Tax Trade E-commerce Digital trade Digital economy Development 



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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Economic and Policy ResearchWashingtonUSA

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