A consortium of international organisations has drafted a work programme for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to try and encourage member nations to impose a permanent moratorium on taxing ecommerce.
The work programme is being supported by companies and bodies such as America Online, AT&T, Microsoft, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, the International Chamber of Commerce and the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade.
According to a spokesperson for the BSA, which represents firms such as Apple, Compaq and IBM, the work programme is an international work document that is intended to educate developing and developed countries on the issues surrounding global ecommerce.
"All countries should take advantage of the Internet revolution phenomena and work to keep ecommerce free from new regulations and trade barrier free," she said.
In its document, the alliance urges WTO members to make the moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions permanent and to affirm that current WTO obligations, rules and commitments apply to electronic commerce.
It also hopes the WTO will extend its technical expertise to developing countries and agree to resist premature efforts to classify electronic transmissions for trade related purposes.
In addition, the group recommended: "that when governments find it necessary to enact measures that may impede or threaten to impede international ecommerce, the measures adopted will be the least trade restrictive means available."
But Susan Esserman, the Deputy US Trade Representative, said some developing nations were reluctant to sign a US proposal that would permanently prevent WTO member states from imposing duties on Internet commerce.
She told a recent Senate hearing on the upcoming WTO negotiations, however: "We are optimistic that other countries will join in extending the temporary moratorium."
But proponents claim that a permanent moratorium would ensure the continued growth of the Internet and ecommerce.
A meeting of ministerial level WTO members addressing global ecommerce and other service industry issues is scheduled to be held on 30 November in Seattle.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago