Data Is Power

Matthew J. Slaughter & David H. McCormick, Foreign Affairs |

Photo by Hunter Harritt on Unsplash
Photo by Hunter Harritt on Unsplash

Data is now at the center of global trade. For decades, international trade in goods and services set the pace of globalization. After the global financial crisis, however, growth in trade plateaued, and in its place came an explosion of cross-border data flows. Measured by bandwidth, cross-border data flows grew roughly 112 times over from 2008 to 2020.


Even more than other elements of the global economy, data is intertwined with power. As an increasingly necessary input for innovation, a rapidly expanding element of international trade, a vital ingredient in corporate success, and an important dimension of national security, data offers incredible advantages to all who hold it.


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