WTO Members Try to Seal Trillion Dollar IT Trade Deal

World Trade Organization members met in Geneva on Friday trying to finalise a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion of information technology products.

Published: 24th July 2015 06:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2015 06:37 PM   |  A+A-

wto reuters

The WTO sees world trade growth of 2.8 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2016.| (File/Reuters)

GENEVA/WASHINGTON: World Trade Organization (WTO) members met in Geneva on Friday trying to finalise a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion of information technology products from video games to medical equipment.

The United States said a deal had been struck, but WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo postponed a press conference at which he and the talks' chairman, European Union Ambassador Angelos Pangratis, had been due to announce the agreement.

"Some delegations needed more time to get full clearance from their capitals. They contacted the chairman Angelos Pangratis and he rescheduled the meeting for three hours later," WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told Reuters.

Once finalised, the agreement to update the WTO's 18-year-old Information Technology Agreement (ITA) will add more than 200 products to the list of goods covered by zero-tariff and duty-free trade.

The U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said more than $100 billion of U.S. exports alone would be covered by the updated agreement and industry estimates showed the removal of tariffs could support up to 60,000 additional jobs.

"ITA’s expansion is great news for the American workers and businesses that design, manufacture and export state-of-the-art technology and information products, ranging from MRI machines to semiconductors to video game consoles," Froman said in a statement issued in Washington.

Azevedo said last week that the deal, which is the first tariff-cutting agreement in the WTO for 18 years, will jump-start the global economy.

"The trade covered in this agreement is comparable to annual global trade in iron, steel, textiles and clothing combined," he said.

Technology manufacturers like General Electric Co, Intel Corporation, Texas Instruments Inc, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co are among companies expected to benefit from the deal.

Additional duty-free products include computer software and software media, video game consoles, printer ink cartridges, GPS devices, medical devices such as MRI machines and next generation semiconductors, the Technology CEO Council said.

"That definitely impacts Intel and that’s important, but also as important are the other technologies that it covers that were not even dreamt of when the original ITA was negotiated," said Intel communications director Lisa Malloy.

"Things like ... health devices and GPS (are) technologies that semiconductors and Intel hope to power in the years to come."

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp