Prospective Policy Study on Artificial Intelligence and EU Trade Policy

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned this study to generate knowledge about the interface between international trade law and European norms and values in the use of AI. This independent study has been carried out by the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. The study embarked on research of AI with a comprehensive look at areas where EU external trade and EU governance of AI intersect.

The study calls for EU trade policy to anticipate ethical and responsible AI regulation:

1. The study calls for an open and inclusive discussion on the relationship between the EU’s e-commerce proposal and EU’s prospective governance of AI.
2. New e-commerce rules currently negotiated at the WTO should allow Members to schedule new commitments based on service sector classification fit for the digital age.
3. In leading a new global standard on ethical and trustworthy AI, the EU and its Member States should guard an adequate scope for manoeuvre in the
WTO e-commerce negotiations.
4. The EU’s future law and policy must cope with the fluidity of algorithmic systems without disrupting beneficial algorithmic flows.
5. Cross-border trade in AI should be contingent on transparency, accountability and auditability of AI systems.
6. Free data flow commitments in future trade rules on e-commerce should not foreclose policy space for state-of-the-art data governance in the interest of ethical and trustworthy AI.
7. Trade law should not stand in the way of domestic policies to ensure that knowledge and surplus value generated of European data contribute to
public value and societal interests in Europe.
8. During WTO e-commerce negotiations, the EU and its Member States should pay attention to developing countries’ perspectives to participate fully
in the AI economy and afford special treatment to least-developed countries.



Irion, K.; Williams, J.

Prospective Policy Study on Artificial Intelligence and EU Trade Policy Technical Report


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