WTO members sealed a deal to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth IT products

Jul 24, 2015 18:31 IST

World Trade Organization (WTO) members on 24 July 2015 struck a deal to add more than 200 products to the list of goods covered by zero-tariff and duty-free trade.

In value terms, the deal cuts tariffs on 1 trillion US dollar worth of information technology (IT) products, which is equal to global trade in iron, steel, textiles and clothing combined.

The deal was agreed as part of need to update the 18-year old Information Technology Agreement (ITA) as it has become redundant.

Products added range from advanced computer chips to GPS devices, medical equipment, printer cartridges and video-game consoles.

This will give a major boost to producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment. Technology manufacturers such as General Electric, Intel, Texas Instruments, Microsoft and Nintendo are among the many companies expected to benefit from the deal.

The Information Technology Agreement was finalized in 1997 and covered 80 WTO members. Efforts to expand the coverage of this agreement were launched in 2012.

The final technical details will be worked out until December 2015.

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