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Agreement on the expansion of trade in information technology products (ITA)

8 June 2016

Agreement on the expansion of trade in information technology products (ITA)

Professor of Economics and ALFA MEP Joachim Starbatty welcomes the landslide approval of the European Agreement on Information Technology (ITA) revision in today’s European Parliament plenary session.

Professor of Economics and ALFA MEP Joachim Starbatty welcomes the landslide approval of the European Agreement on Information Technology (ITA) revision in today’s European Parliament plenary session.

The ITA agreement has governed international trade with information technology products since 1996, but has become outdated long ago.

For instance, smartphones and tablet computers do currently not feature as individual product categories. With today’s approval by the European Parliament this will change. As shadow rapporteur of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), Starbatty in particular approves of scheduled future revisions:
“From now on, the agreement will remain up to date and in line with the latest developments in the sector. Modern information technology and the so-called Industry 4.0 will be important driving forces of future economic growth and demand a comprehensive trade framework. Small and medium-sized enterprises represent an important share of the sector and will benefit, too.”
The extension of the ITA agreement is considered to be of great economic significance. According to figures of the World Trade Organization, the products covered by the agreement amount to about seven percent of world trade, or 1.1 trillion Euro.
Starbatty hopes that more countries will join the agreement in the future. The current 54 signatory countries – among them the USA, China, Korea and Canada – will cut their tariffs gradually to zero. At the moment, the signatory countries have a 90 percent of world trade in information technologies.

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