CCIA Statement on Conclusions of 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, Joint Industry Statement on E-Commerce Moratorium

BY Heather Greenfield
June 17, 2022

Washington – The WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) took place on June 12-16. Trade ministers met to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO. 

At the conclusion of these meetings, WTO Members renewed the longstanding moratorium on applying customs duties on electronic transmissions, often referred to as the “WTO e-commerce moratorium.” Since its inception in 1998, Members are faced with the decision for renewal at the Ministerial conferences, contributing to two decades of policy stability. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined other trade associations in a statement today showing how important the moratorium is to global commerce across all sectors and warning of the negative impact likely to result if countries started imposing new tariffs on electronic transmissions. Research from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also shown that the revenue implications of the moratorium are likely to be relatively small and that its lapse would come at the expense of wider gains in the economy. 

Countries also issued an update on the status of the ongoing work for the Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce to discuss high level rules for digital trade.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“We congratulate WTO members on a successful Ministerial, and applaud the renewal of the longstanding e-commerce moratorium and renewed commitment by participating countries for the multilateral initiative on e-commerce. The absence of tariffs on electronic transmission has enabled the transfer of digital products and services over the internet for over two decades. This open system has promoted unprecedented innovation, productivity, and wide-ranging benefits among global trading partners.

CCIA encourages countries to continue to pursue trade rules that enable the free flow of digital services and products.”

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