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SIA Blog

New Study Shows ITA Bridging Digital Divide

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on May 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

As the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) turns 20 this year, a think tank in Washington, D.C. today released an important new report on the wide-ranging economic benefits of this pioneering trade pact to developing countries. Co-authored by Stephen Ezell and John Wu of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the study does a deep dive on the impact joining the ITA would have on six economies in various stages of economic development – Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Kenya, Pakistan, and South Africa.

[DOWNLOAD THE ITIF REPORT]

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Topics: trade, ITA

Global Deal to Slash Tech Tariffs Goes into Force, but with a Hitch

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Jul 1, 2016 6:00:00 AM

After more than four years of often turbulent negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), tariffs on roughly $1.3 trillion in trade in tech products finally start marching to zero today. All in, the agreement will boost the global economy by an estimated $190 billion annually, spur productivity in developing and developed economies, and support an additional 60,000 American jobs.

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Topics: trade, ITA

The Semiconductor Seven: SIA’s Top Trade Priorities

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Mar 9, 2016 4:30:00 PM

President Obama released his 2016 Trade Policy Agenda on March 2. This thick document includes a raft of trade priorities for this Administration, including major trade agreements either under negotiation or completed: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).  

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Topics: trade, ITA, TPP

Nairobi Delivers ITA Expansion!

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Dec 16, 2015 11:27:49 AM

NAIROBI -- At long last, the effort to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is now irreversibly bound for implementation July 1, 2016 after negotiators attending the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in this capital city of Kenya reached final agreement on the phase-out periods for the 201 tariff lines covered by this landmark trade pact. The hard-fought outcome was announced this evening at a press conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Center, the venue for the ministerial event, and attended by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo and several trade ministers.

Today’s $1.3 trillion deal represents a huge step forward for innovation and economic growth the world over. By eliminating tariffs on trade in tech products, it will spur global GDP growth an estimated $190 billion annually. Products covered by the agreement include MRI machines, GPS devices, solid state drives, video game consoles, loud speakers, video cameras, and sophisticated testing equipment. It also includes next-generation semiconductors known as MCOs and a wide assortment of other products that incorporate semiconductors. For the MCOs alone, tariff savings will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

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Topics: trade, ITA

China Kicks ITA Expansion Negotiations to Nairobi

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Dec 10, 2015 5:00:00 PM

After achieving significant progress this week to put the finishing touches on the three-year effort to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), officials in Geneva were hoping the last big piece of the puzzle would fall into place today to get the negotiations completed before the WTO Ministerial Conference convenes in Nairobi next week.

That last piece would have been China submitting to the WTO a revised national tariff schedule of the products covered by the agreement and lifting its reservations on the schedules of a number of other parties to the negotiation. That was not to be. China did not budge an inch.

Trade ministers from around the world will now start getting on planes to make their way to Nairobi with the biggest, most likely deliverable for that troubled WTO trade powwow hanging in the balance.

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Topics: trade, ITA

Global Industry Reiterates Call for Restrained “Staging” for ITA Expansion

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Nov 2, 2015 12:30:00 PM

In a strong statement released today, more than 80 associations from around the world have again weighed in urging parties negotiating expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to implement their tariff elimination commitments as quickly as possible, showing restraint in their requests for extended “staging.” Parties will meet again the week of Nov. 9 in Geneva to wrap up negotiations on phase-out timeframes (staging) for the 201 tariff lines covered by ITA expansion.

The Global Industry Statement notes: “The time has come for all parties to show maximum ambition by limiting their staging requests to ensure the strongest possible ITA expansion outcome is ready for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in mid-December.”

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Topics: trade, ITA

Dance on ITA "Staging" Begins

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Oct 2, 2015 8:30:00 AM

GENEVA – Negotiators working to expand product coverage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) held a series of meetings this week here that amounted to an initial "show-and-tell" on how far they are willing to go when it comes to assigning specific timeframes for tariff elimination for the myriad tech products covered by the agreement.

The standard phase-out (or staging) period leading to tariff elimination under ITA expansion is three years. Negotiators can waive this baseline three-year staging period and eliminate tariffs on some or all of the 201 covered lines when the agreement goes into force in July next year. They can indicate they want to stick with the default three-year staging period. Or they can opt for “extended staging” of five years or seven years to provide a bigger buffer for domestic producers to adapt to a tariff-free business environment.

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Topics: trade, ITA

Global Industry Urges ITA Negotiators to Show Restraint on Staging

Posted by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy on Sep 23, 2015 4:25:00 PM

Following the hard-fought agreement achieved in July on the product list to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), negotiators will return to Geneva next week to sort through implementation timeframes for the 201 high-tech product lines to be covered by ITA expansion. These timeframes are known as “staging,” the periods over which tariffs are eliminated.

In a strong statement released today, more than 80 associations from around the world wrote:

While the standard phase-out (or staging) period for tariff elimination under ITA expansion is three years, we urge the negotiators to show as much ambition as possible and embrace the important provision in the formal July 28 WTO declaration on ITA expansion that encourages “autonomous immediate elimination of customs duties or accelerated implementation...” We trust the negotiating parties will seek to be as faithful as possible to this ambition. Similarly, we urge all negotiating parties to show restraint in seeking staging periods longer than three years, given the short innovation cycles for high-technology products.

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Topics: trade, ITA

Thailand Gives ITA Expansion "Critical Mass"

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Jul 28, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Yesterday, we learned Taiwan had officially decided to support the product list to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Today, the good news keeps rolling in with Thailand now joining the larger group of negotiating parties to the agreement that finalized the list last Friday.

With this, Thailand has delivered the all-important “critical mass” to this trillion-dollar deal to eliminate tariffs on tech products. Importantly, by World Trade Organization (WTO) protocol, countries signing the accord must account for approximately 90 percent of global trade in the tech products covered by the agreement for it to enter into force.

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Topics: trade, ITA

Another Good Day for Trade as Taiwan Gives Approval to ITA Expansion

Posted by John Neuffer, President & CEO on Jul 27, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Following the good news on Friday the product list to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) was formally approved in Geneva, Taiwan today has decided to climb on board to officially support the list and the accompanying declaration.

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Topics: trade, ITA