WTO members seal trillion-dollar IT trade deal

WTO members seal trillion-dollar IT trade deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Trade Organization (WTO) members finalized a deal on Friday to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth of information technology products in a boost for producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment.

The agreement to update the WTO's 18-year-old Information Technology Agreement (ITA) adds more than 200 products to the list of goods covered by zero-tariff & duty-free trade.

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

p>“ITA’s expansion is tremendous news for the American workers & businesses that design, manufacture, & export state-of-the-art technology & information products, ranging from MRI machines to semiconductors to video game consoles,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said.

Technology manufacturers like General Electric Co <GE.N>, Intel Corporation <INTC.O>, Texas Instruments Inc <TXN.O>, Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> & Nintendo Co <7974.T> are among companies expected to benefit from the deal.

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

"That unquestionably impacts Intel & that’s significant yet moreover as significant 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 & GPS (are) technologies that semiconductors & Intel hope to power in the years to come."

(Reporting by Krista Hughes, additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore & Tom Miles in Geneva; Editing by Bernard Orr)

World Trade Organization

Source: “Reuters”

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