Manufacturers Strongly Welcome Progress on Information Technology Agreement

By November 12, 2014Trade

Manufacturers welcome the breakthrough in negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) announced by the United States and China. Agreement between the United States and China will help move the ITA talks forward after being deadlocked for a year.

Ultimately, an expanded ITA could eliminate tariffs on about 200 additional technology products – or roughly $1 trillion in global sales each year, creating an estimated 60,000 new American jobs, enhancing innovation in the United States and increasing global GDP by roughly $190 billion.

Tariffs would be eliminated on a wide range of goods, such as medical devices, semiconductors and GPS devices, which currently face duties anywhere from 8 to 30 percent. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has not eliminated tariffs on information and communications technology products since 1996 – when much of the cutting-edge technology on which manufacturers and consumers rely daily did not yet exist. Expanding this 18-year old agreement to include new technologies is critical not only for manufacturers of this equipment but also for manufacturers that consume these technologies that make them more globally competitive and productive.

Concrete progress on the ITA could also help boost momentum on the broader trade agenda at the WTO which has faced obstacles over the last several months as a result of  delayed implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The NAM has long supported movement on an ITA and we applaud the Administration’s leadership and persistence in moving these negotiations forward and looks forward to the conclusion and implementation of an expanded ITA as quickly as possible.

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