Global Industry Reiterates Call for Restrained “Staging” for ITA Expansion

Monday, Nov 02, 2015, 5:30pm

by Devi Keller, Director, Global Policy


In a strong statement released today, more than 80 associations from around the world have again weighed in urging parties negotiating expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to implement their tariff elimination commitments as quickly as possible, showing restraint in their requests for extended “staging.” Parties will meet again the week of Nov. 9 in Geneva to wrap up negotiations on phase-out timeframes (staging) for the 201 tariff lines covered by ITA expansion.

The Global Industry Statement notes: “The time has come for all parties to show maximum ambition by limiting their staging requests to ensure the strongest possible ITA expansion outcome is ready for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in mid-December.”

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Of particular importance to SIA and the global semiconductor industry is achieving immediate elimination of duties on next-generation semiconductors known as multi-component semiconductors (MCOs). Last week, the World Semiconductor Council – comprised of the semiconductor industry associations in China, Chinese Taipei, EU, Korea, Japan and the U.S. – sent a letter to ITA parties urging the immediate elimination of tariffs on MCOs.

MCOs, like other semiconductors, are the foundational technology for virtually all electronics, including computers, communications devices, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, industrial equipment, and medical devices. They are the key components that drive innovation in downstream sectors, including e-commerce, energy efficiency, finance, mobility, safety, security, health, and the Internet of Things.

Industry groups from the U.S., Europe and Japan will be in Geneva in force the week of Nov. 9 to make the case that throwing off the shackles of tariffs as quickly as possible will enable countries to be stronger competitors in the tech space. Failure to do so will prevent consumers from obtaining affordable tech products, dampen growth, slow innovation, and signal to foreign companies that maybe they should take their investments elsewhere.

SIA will be joined in Geneva by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), DIGITALEUROPE, the SIA in Europe (ESIA), and the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Association (JEITA).