Trillion-euro global high-tech trade deal agreed
EU News 215/2015
Brussels, 24 July 2015
The European Union, the United States, China and the vast majority of the World Trade Organization (WTO) members that were participating in the negotiations agreed today to eliminate custom duties on 201 high-tech products. The extension of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is the biggest tariff-cutting deal in the WTO in almost two decades. The agreement initiated and brokered by the EU, will benefit both consumers and firms alike by removing customs duties on a wide range of goods, including medical equipment, video games and consoles, home hi-fi systems, headphones, blue-ray/DVR players, semi-conductors, and GPS devices. All in all, the deal will cover €1 trillion in global trade, covering close to 90% of world trade in the products concerned. A total of 54 WTO members negotiated the expansion of the ITA. A limited group of countries is expected to confirm its participation in the coming days.
The new, expanded ITA agreement concluded today will reduce the costs for consumers and for manufacturing IT products in Europe. It will offer new market access for many of Europe's high tech companies – some of which are leaders in their fields – and encourage innovation by simplifying access to state-of-the-art technology. As such, it will contribute to the further development of the digital economy in the EU.
 The European Union and its 28 Member States; Albania; Australia; Canada; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; Mauritius; Montenegro; New Zealand; Norway; the Philippines; Chinese Taipei; Singapore; Switzerland; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States.
Source and additional information:
Removal of all customs duties on a wide range of high-tech goods (C)EU, 2015 URL