Consider plurilateral approach for advancement, ICC urges G20

  • 16 December 2011

In an open letter to G20 leaders, ICC has urged G20 governments to consider what the world business organization maintains is a constructive proposal that could be immediately undertaken to spur economic recovery: concluding trade agreements on a plurilateral basis.

Signed by ICC Chairman Gerard Worms, ICC Vice-Chairman Harold McGraw III and ICC Honorary Chairman Victor K. Fung, the letter, said: “This approach would restore confidence, bring down the cost of doing business around the world, and give the global economy and job creation a major uplift, all without resorting to more stimulus initiatives and increased debt.”

Welcoming recent recognition by G20 leaders of the need to pursue fresh and credible approaches to furthering negotiations, the letter stated: “Without doubt, economic development and employment are being held back by the stalemate of the Doha Round. This impasse has to be overcome by trying different avenues to reinforce the multilateral trading system,” the letter stated.

This letter was sent days after ICC urged members of the most successful World Trade Organization (WTO) plurilateral agreement, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), to expand the agreement’s list of products eligible for duty free treatment. Given the crucial role information technology plays in driving global growth, expansion of product coverage will help fuel the world economy. It is undisputed that the ITA has significantly contributed to increasing employment and improving education, while providing higher living standards for citizens on a global scale.

ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said: “Given the enormous contribution of the ITA in promoting job and economic growth in developed and developing countries, expanding the agreement’s product coverage offers a debt-free way to stimulate the economy.”

In a recent policy statement supporting expansion of product coverage under the WTO Information Technology Agreement ICC recommends:

  • that all information and communication technology products enjoy duty-free treatment according to the broadest possible definition; and,
  • that signatory members accelerate talks on the expansion of the ITA’s product coverage.