A Digital Free Trade Zone and Necessarily-Regulated Self-Governance for Electronic Commerce: The World Trade Organization, International Law, and Classical Liberalism in Cyberspace


Kristi L. Bergemann


VOL. XX • Summer 2002 • NO. 4 (table of contents)

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In the absence of a world government, cross border trade is always subject to rules that must be politically negotiated among nations that are sovereign in their own realm but not outside their borders. The author explores the development of an international trade and e-commerce paradigm in two main phases as the Internet superhighway bridges nations together.

She argues that the construction of an international trading framework must strike the appropriate balance between institutional order and norms and the human and business realities of free trade and democracy. She further argues that the balance can be achieved by creating an agreement within the structure of the World Trade Organization. First the necessarily-regulated self-governance focuses on calculating the appropriate balance between individual and government. Second, a digital free trade zone is the ultimate uniform rule for international trade over the Internet. In the end, the author suggests that solution to this international trade framework building on World Trade Organization's structure is a synthesis of all past ideas and suggestions which gel together into a new legal and policy package to be applied to new realms of human innovation. She concludes with that "the doctrine of free trade, however widely rejected in the world of politics, holds its own in the sphere of the intellect" and can serve to promote the most basic concepts of human existence through an international legal framework address e-commerce and trade.

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