• WTO sets first tariff cuts on IT in July

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    The World Trade Organization (WTO) will implement the first set of tariff cuts on information technology goods under the IT Agreement (ITA) expansion on July 1.

    The ITA expansion, agreed at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December 2015, eliminates tariffs on an additional 201 IT products valued at over $1.3 trillion.

    WTO said the second set of reduction of duties on IT goods will be no later than July 1, 2017 with successive reductions taking place on July 1, 2018 and effective elimination no later than July 1, 2019.

    The negotiations for the ITA expansion were conducted by 53 WTO members, including the Philippines, but all 162 WTO members will be benefiting from the agreement.

    The ITA expansion will further reduce the cost of importing IT goods in order to develop the IT sector create more jobs for young people, make other industries more efficient by using IT, and enable countries to become part of global value chains.

    According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines is the 14th largest exporter of information and communications technology goods in the world with revenues amounting to USD14 billion.

    PNA

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