The WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA), implemented in 1996 and expanded in 2016, has played a pivotal role in growing the global economy and bridging the digital divide. By eliminating tariffs on hundreds of high tech goods and components, from semiconductors to smartphones, the ITA makes transformational technology products more affordable and accessible, while spurring productivity, innovation, and economic growth in both developing and developed economies. To date, 82 WTO members are signatories of the ITA, and 54 are signatories of ITA Expansion (ITA-E). To maximize the tariff elimination benefits to existing signatories, and extend the immediate and substantial economic benefits to non-signatories, the attached global industry letter encourages all WTO members to join ITA/ITA-E by the 11th WTO Ministerial in Buenos Aires in December.
A WTO map of ITA country participants is available at: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/inftec_e/ita_map_e.htm. While many WITSA member countries are participants in both ITA 1 and ITA 2, several are not.
Products covered by the ITA and its recent expansion include computers, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, software, MRI machines, GPS devices, solid state drives, video cameras, sophisticated testing equipment, and hundreds of intermediate components and equipment that form the backbone of the Internet and the global digital infrastructure. Altogether, these agreements covers $1.7 trillion in annual trade.
The attached global industry letter calls on non-signatories to join this pioneering agreement. Increased geographic membership would represent a strong outcome for the Ministerial in Argentina and promote prosperity around the world. A copy of a previous global industry letter from 2015 which many of our members signed is also attached for your reference.
Please consider lending your organization’s name to this letter. This statement is open to all business and trade associations, state and local chambers, and allied organizations.
Please Click Here to join the letter no later than September 20, 2017.