Information Technology Agreement in News

The Information Technology Agreement (ITA) was concluded by 29 participants at the Singapore Ministerial Conference in December 1996. Since then, the number of participants has grown to 82, representing about 97 per cent of world trade in IT products.

The participants are committed to completely eliminating tariffs on IT products covered by the Agreement.

At the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December 2015, over 50 members concluded the expansion of the Agreement, which now covers an additional 201 products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year.

Since the elimination of tariffs is included in their WTO schedules of commitments, ITA participants have extended duty-free treatment to all members on a most-favoured nation (MFN) basis, thereby bringing the benefits of the Agreement to the entire WTO membership.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ITA, the WTO launched a new publication entitled “20 Years of the Information Technology Agreement: Boosting trade, innovation and digital connectivity”.

The publication describes how this agreement has evolved over the past two decades and the significant impact it has had on worldwide trade in IT products.