The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has granted the European Union an excellent position in the »competition« between data protection laws. This competition goes along with a gradual convergence of data protection laws worldwide, initiated and promoted by the European Union. In this competition, the European Union benefits not only from the so-called Brussels Effect (Bradford), but also from distinct legal instruments: The GDPR rules on the scope of application and on data transfer to non-EU countries are of legal importance in this competition, and the adequacy decision under Art. 45 GDPR creates further de facto leverage for negotiations on free trade agreements with non-EU countries. The European Union has already been able to use this tool as a catalyst for European data protection law approaches. The European Union should, however, refrain from »abusing« its strong position and not press for extensive »copies« of the GDPR worldwide – and thereby create legislative lock-in-effects. Alternative regulatory approaches – potentially even more innovative and appropriate – are to be evaluated carefully by means of a functional and/or contextual comparative approach.