The United States and more than 50 WTO members reached an agreement in 2015 expanding the list of ICT products subject to tariff elimination. This agreement, called the “ITA enlargement”, builds on the 1996 ITA and obliges the parties to remove hundreds of tariffs on additional ICT products. The extension of the ITA requires the removal of tariffs on a list of 201 products, including advanced semiconductors, high-tech medical devices, global positioning systems, software carriers, video game consoles and high-tech ICT testing tools. As part of the ITA`s expansion, annual U.S. technology exports, worth more than $180 billion, will no longer be subject to high tariffs in key markets around the world The ITA covers a large number of high-tech products, including computers, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing and testing equipment, software, scientific instruments and most parts and accessories thereof. The Office of Health and Information Technology (OHIT), headquartered at the International Trade Administration, helps U.S. companies increase international sales and business opportunities abroad in the areas of health and information technology, computers and network equipment, microelectronics, telecommunications, instrumentation, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and health technologies, monitoring business and economic trends in the health and information technology sectors. and to provide trade and aggregate data and influence the evolution of U.S. trade policy in these sectors.
The Information Technology Agreement is a plurilateral agreement to eliminate tariffs on certain information and communication technology (ICT) products. The ITA covers a wide range of ICT products, including computers and permealing devices, electronic components, including semiconductors, computer software, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor manufacturing facilities and computer analysis tools. To date, 82 WTO members participate in the ITA, accounting for 97% of global trade in ICT products. The wide range of information technology products for which tariffs have been eliminated under this Agreement are listed in Appendices A and B to the Annex to the Agreement. Recognizing the rapid advances in computer technology, the agreement calls for an annual review of products to extend coverage to new products. The WTO ITA Committee has also worked on non-tariff measures affecting the sector. You can also consult the following websites for more information on the ITA: as ITA concessions are included in the participants` WTO concession plans, tariff avoidance is carried out on a most-favoured-nation basis. This means that countries that have not joined the ITA can also benefit from the trade opportunities offered by the elimination of ITA tariffs. Today, following the recent accession of the Republic of Seychelles, the ITA now has 81 WTO members, representing about 97 per cent of world trade in information technology products. Under the terms of the agreement, the majority of tariffs on 201 products will be eliminated within three years, with reductions starting in 2016. Before the end of October 2015, each of the participating members will present to the other participants a draft timetable specifying how the conditions of the agreement will be met..
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