WTO members reach landmark $1.3 trillion IT trade deal to cut tariffs
World Trade Organisation (WTO) members reached a landmark Information Technology (IT) trade deal in order to add more than 200 products to the list dealing with zero-tariff and duty-free trade.
In this agreement, products covered will include new-generation semi-conductors, medical products which include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, GPS navigation systems, machine tools for manufacturing printed circuits, touch screens and telecommunications satellites.
Facts about agreement
- Covers more than 200 IT products worth US 1.3 trillion dollars in annual global trade which is larger than combined global trade automotive products, textiles, clothing, iron and steel.
- Contains a commitment to tackle non-tariff barriers in the IT sector and keep the list of products covered under review for further expansion to reflect future developments.
- The majority of tariffs will be eliminated on these IT products within next 3 years, starting from 2016.
- By the end of October 2015, each of the participating members will submit to the other participants a draft schedule which deals with terms of the agreement to be met.
This agreement dealing with zero-tariff and duty-free trade in IT sector is an expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), 1996 which involves 81 members.
In 2012, members had urged that there is need to cover IT products which are not the part of existing agreement. Negotiations in this regard began in 2012 to expand the coverage of the accord.