[governance] Now business wants to lead policy making

Lee W McKnight lmcknigh at syr.edu
Fri May 13 14:02:02 EDT 2016


If I may chime in with a few words of support for Milton's query and a link, the truth is most global trade these days is digital services. 

Trade in goods is so 19th century; ok maybe 20th. Yeah yeah I know I am over-simplifying but still.

And what a coincidence, the rapid growth in trade in services over past decades mirrors the growth of the global Internet; which is governed by multi-stakeholder processes, more or less.  

Indeed, the criticism that governments are doing something wrong doing what they have always done - negotiating trade treaties in secret, because duh - is also a call for greater transparency from - civil society and other stakeholders.


Anyway, don't take my word for it, instead think about this McKninsey report: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/global-flows-in-a-digital-age

Global  flows opens virtual doors for tiny firms and civil society as well as the bigs. 

In that context, yeah maybe multi-stakeholdering trade talks might be a good idea compared to the present practices which are not well-loved by Trump-ettes nor critics feeling the Bern, to put it in US political context.  Even Hillary is pretending she had no idea what TTP and TTIP were about. We are all shocked! ; )

So if not government to government business as usual, then what? 

Yeah isolationism worked so well in past. Not.


From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org <governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org> on behalf of Norbert Bollow <nb at bollow.ch>
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2016 1:05 PM
To: Mueller, Milton L
Cc: governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Subject: Re: [governance] Now business wants to lead policy making

(crossposting trimmed)


Given that the notion of "movement forward" depends on a goal that one
would aim at achieving or at least an ideal that one would aim at
getting closer to (even if there is little or no hope of fully
achieving it), I would request you to please explain the goal or ideal
that you have in mind.


On Fri, 13 May 2016 16:00:50 +0000
"Mueller, Milton L" <milton at gatech.edu> wrote:

> Parminder:
> I am curious about your response to this initiative. I know that in
> your world, anything that a business does is bad, but please tell me
> this:
> Many people have complained about the WTO and other
> government-government trade negotiations because they are closed to
> other stakeholders and not transparent. It appears that Ma is
> proposing a departure from that. The WeTP would have business,
> "governments and NGOs and other organisations participating.” Of
> course, one would have to know more about the terms and conditions of
> "participation" but I see a potential for movement forward rather
> than backwards.  Please tell us why this is worse than the status
> quo?
> Dr. Milton L. Mueller
> Professor, School of Public Policy
> Georgia Institute of Technology
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [mailto:governance-
> > request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of parminder
> > Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 3:35 AM
> > To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; BestBitsList
> > <bestbits at lists.bestbits.net> Subject: [governance] Now business
> > wants to lead policy making
> >
> > A recent announcement by Alibaba's founder Jack Ma exposes what the
> > real intent, and the problem, with business led multistakeholderism
> > is, something a lot of people/ groups have perhaps innocently got
> > into supporting.... He proposes a new business led initiative to
> > frame global e-commerce rules, which would rival the WTO, which can
> > keep making them for offline trade. And he is entirely serious,
> > with Alibaba already working with a number of groups and intending
> > to present the proposal to G 20 later this year.. To me it is a
> > political shocker, but that is where much of multistakholderism
> > ideology is headed.
> >
> > I wrote an op-ed on this issue in yesterday's The Hindu, which is at
> > http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/a-borderless-economy-that-will-
> > be-controlled/article8581476.ece
> >
> > We must re-assess what does unhinging of the role of legitimate
> > political actors in key public policy areas means. It just
> > transfers power to a few global corporates to runs our societies as
> > a corporatocracy. Many of our discussions here on
> > mulitistakeholderism as a sovereign political form need to be seen
> > in this context.
> >
> > parminder
> >

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