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Henrique Choer Moraes on Geoeconomics

Season 1, Ep. 420

In this episode, Henrique Choer Moraes, doctoral candidate at the Centre for Global Governance Studies of the University of Leuven (Belgium) and a diplomat with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discusses his article "The Geoeconomic Challenge To International Economic Law: Lessons From The Regulation Of Data In China." He begins by discussing a "clash of economic models" between China's more state-centered and strategically-guided “geoeconomic” model and the status quo market-oriented economic model adopted among others by the US and the European Union. He is interested in impacts of that clash on the functioning of international economic law going forward. In order to respond to China’s geoeconomic approach to economic relations, he argues that governments in the US, the EU and elsewhere are abandoning market-oriented attitudes and taking the front-seat in economic relations, guided also by a geoeconomic inspiration—leading to what he calls a "geoeconomic chain reaction". This dynamic is changing the logic underlying rules of international economic law, he claims.

Moraes shows how this larger geoeconomic shift impacts international economic law by discussing data regulation in China, where domestic rules limit outflows of data in order to retain, under China’s control, a "strategic asset" that contributes to its development of artificial intelligence. He continues by reflecting upon nations' approaches to international cyber governance, and how China's approach to "cyber-sovereignty" and revelations about American intelligence operations by Edward Snowden have affected the international cyber governance realm. These different views are manifestations of the clash of models with impact on concrete negotiations, such as the ones on electronic commerce currently taking place at the World Trade Organization. He concludes by laying out possible consequences that this geoeconomic shift might introduce into international economic law going forward. He thinks it is likely to be a more fragmented set of rules, less international and more domestic, and generating less predictability for market actors operating at a global level. Moraes is on Twitter at @choermoraes. All the opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of our guest and do not necessarily represent the views of the government of Brazil.

This episode was hosted by Luce Nguyen, a student at Northern Illinois University. She is on Twitter at @NguyenLuce.

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