U.S. Challenges EU Tariffs On Tech Products

BY CCIA Staff
May 28, 2008

The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomed the United States Trade Representative’s announcement Tuesday that it had requested WTO dispute settlement action on duties imposed by the European Union on high-tech products covered by the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

The 1997 ITA conferred duty-free treatment on information technology products and has had a huge impact on promoting global trade in IT products. However, the European Commission (EC) has removed some products from ITA coverage, such as computer displays and multifunction printers, because these products have incorporated additional features that did not yet exist when the ITA was established in 1997.

“This means, U.S. IT companies are being penalized, in the form of tariffs, for the sin of innovating and improving their products,” CCIA President & CEO Ed Black said.

The WTO’s 1996 Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products clearly stated its desire “to achieve maximum freedom of world trade in information technology products” and “to encourage the continued technological development of the information technology industry on a world-wide basis.”

“By arguing that this very technological development disqualifies a product from ITA coverage, the EU’s actions blatantly violate the spirit of the ITA,” Black said.

CCIA applauds the USTR’s taking action to ensure the continued promotion of global IT trade, and we look forward to the EU’s compliance as a result of the WTO consultations.

Click here for USTR announcement

Related Articles

CCIA Recommendations on Canada’s Online News Act Ahead of Committee Hearing

Sep 23, 2022

Washington — The Heritage Committee in the House of Commons of Canada will meet at a  hearing on Friday afternoon to discuss Bill C-18, dubbed “the Online News Act.” The bill would require large “digital news intermediaries” including search engines and social media platforms to pay Canadian news companies to index their content or to…

CCIA Offers Comments to USTR on Proposed U.S.-Kenya Trade Partnership

Sep 16, 2022

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on its proposed U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade & Investment Partnership, providing recommendations to boost and support digital trade between the two countries.  CCIA welcomes the Biden Administration’s desire to expand trade opportunities with Kenya and encourages the United…

European Media Freedom Act: Fight Against Disinformation and Illegal Content Requires Balanced Relationship Between Media and Online Platforms

Sep 16, 2022

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Media Freedom Act presented by the European Commission earlier today seeks to introduce new rules to safeguard the independence and pluralism of Europe’s media. The “must-carry” obligation included in the proposal, however, could be abused to force social media and other online platforms to spread disinformation or illegal content, the…