WTO cuts first major deal on eliminating tariffs on IT products

Published December 17th, 2015 - 10:59 GMT

WTO member states have completed a deal to eliminate tariffs on high-tech IT products, marking the first major tariff-cutting deal since the trade body was formed 20 years ago, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo says.

The agreement covers 200 products including telecommunication satellites, manufacturing equipment for smart phones and software that are worth 1.3 trillion dollars in annual trade, Azevedo said.

"This is a continuing process to be completed in seven years," he said about the agreement, which was concluded by about 60 countries but will provide benefits to all WTO members.

"It shows the WTO can reach solutions acceptable to all," Azevedo said in reference to the deal, closed amid serious disagreements among WTO members on the future course of free trade negotiations.

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