EU proposes major update to IT trade pact
The European Commission has today presented at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) its proposal to update and expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), an existing trade deal between some of the world's biggest trade powers that lowers the cost of IT products. The proposal would take account of new products that have entered the market since the agreement was originally concluded in 1996, eliminating customs duties for these goods. Further points considered are tackling non-tariff barriers "behind the border", as well as the problems caused by the non-functioning of some of the mechanisms and procedures provided for in the current ITA. The Commission hopes that other WTO members will engage in discussions in the near future.