New York, N.Y., July 24, 2015 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed today’s agreement among members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to expand the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to a wide array of additional products.
“These are critical, market-opening negotiations, with vast potential to boost U.S. exports,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Combined with last December’s agreement on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, this breakthrough further demonstrates the importance of keeping a robust multilateral track in the U.S. trade agenda.”
The original ITA helped cement the growth of electronic commerce and the digital economy by freeing up trade in many IT goods and services. But with the rapid growth of the Internet and digital technologies in the two decades since, many newer products fall outside its purview. A plurilateral undertaking among 54 WTO members, the ongoing ITA negotiations aim to lift tariffs on approximately $1 trillion worth of trade in high-tech products annually.
Robinson added: “We applaud the determination displayed by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and his team to get this important agreement done by this December’s WTO ministerial in Nairobi. We urge all WTO members to seize this momentum to finalize a deal as soon as possible.”
In May 2013, USCIB joined a wide array of high-tech and other business groups in urging negotiators to aim for a comprehensive, ambitious and commercially meaningful expansion of the ITA.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, firstname.lastname@example.org