February 15, 1997

(Washington, D.C.) — The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today applauded the successful conclusion of the multilateral negotiations on basic telecommunications services.

“This agreement is yet another example of this Administration’s commitment to opening markets to American products and services around the world,” said Ed Black, CCIA President. “In fact, this is the second time in two months that a major multilateral agreement has been reached that creates real opportunities for our industry. This agreement, coupled with the Information Technology Agreement reached at the WTO Ministerial meeting in December, will enable our industry to lay the groundwork for the Global Information Infrastructure.”

Black added, “CCIA commends the President and his Administration for its commitment and hard-nosed efforts in opening markets to American products and services around the world. Clearly, the U.S. negotiators’ refusal to accept an inadequate agreement last April has paid off.”

CCIA is especially pleased with the commitments made by many developing countries, as these markets represent the greatest opportunities for growth and have the most to gain from improved telecommunications services. This agreement demonstrates that many countries have come to recognize that the competitive model is the best way to achieve an efficient telecommunications infrastructure. Increased competition in the telecommunications sector will make the flow of information more efficient and less expensive and is an important step forward in making the Global Information Infrastructure a reality.

CCIA is an association of computer and communications firms, as represented by their chairman, presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, and other senior executives. Small, medium and large in size, these companies represent a broad, cross-section of the industry, including equipment manufacturers, software developers, telecommunications and on-line service providers, re-sellers, systems integrators, third-party vendors and other related business ventures.

CCIA member companies employ over a half-million workers and generate annual revenues of nearly 200 billion dollars.

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