Ambassador Froman Announces Major Breakthrough on Negotiations to Eliminate Tariffs on Infromation Technology Products
On November 10th the United States Trade Representative announced a breakthrough with the ongoing efforts to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). An expanded ITA will support well-paying jobs, boost domestic and global economic growth. This is a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement that eliminates tariffs on high-tech products among 54 economies, including the U.S. and China.
The last time the WTO agreed to eliminate tariffs on IT products was in 1996 when most of the GPS technology, much of the medical equipment, software, and high-tech gadgetry that we rely on in our daily lives didn't even exist.
In fact, since that time, global trade in these types of high-tech products have reached $3 trillion annually, and despite that explosion of trade, the coverage of the ITA products have never been expanded.
In the past two years, the United States Trade Representatives have been working very intensively with our global partners to expand the Information Technology Agreement, but unfortunately, in December of 2013, those talks broke down due to disagreements over the scope of coverage.
Industry estimates have concluded that successfully concluding the ITA would:
- Eliminate tariffs on roughly $1 trillion of global sales of IT products.
- That it would contribute to global GDP by an estimated $190 billion.
- And would support up to 60,000 additional U.S. jobs in technology and manufacturing.
- And also boosting productivity around the world, particularly in developing countries.
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