ICC calls for upholding WTO Information Technology Agreement

  • 26 February 2008

ICC’s Commission on Trade and Investment Policy has issued a policy statement calling on all members of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to uphold the agreement in both letter and spirit.

The ITA, which came into force in 1997, commits countries who become members to bind and eliminate customs duties on covered information technology goods such as personal computers, computer monitors and telecommunications apparatus. To date, 70 countries have become members of the ITA, representing more than 97% of global trade in the high-tech sector.

The many benefits of the ITA include increased consumer access to and choice of IT products, allowing developed and developing countries the opportunity to play an integral role in the global supply chain and fostering the global export of ITA products.

Over the course of the past decade, new and more sophisticated products have been introduced to the market, such as set-top boxes and flat panel computer monitors, to which some members of the ITA have been denying the bound duty-free treatment provided by the agreement, and applying excessive duties.

ICC is calling upon these members to uphold the goals and objectives of the ITA so that its benefits are applied to all products covered by the agreement.

“ICC opposes any efforts to unravel, whether in spirit or letter, the ITA and undermine the benefits it has produced,” said Lars Anell, Chair of ICC’s Commission on Trade and Investment Policy.