Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
that supported the ITA II proposal were the following: Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, the
Czech Republic, the European Communities, Hong Kong (China), Iceland, Israel, Japan,
Korea, Norway, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Singapore, Switzerland and
Liechtenstein, Turkey, the United States, Chinese Taipei and Estonia.
of these participants said that the compromise ITA II proposal represented a modest but
balanced package that would mark a positive step forward for the WTO amidst the financial
crisis. They urged the rapid completion of ITA II work so that the Committee could move
ahead on other aspects of its work programme, including dealing with non-tariff measures
on IT products. A number of them stressed their objection to the inclusion of so-called
"electronic consumer goods". Several participants signalled they would need an
extended time-period for eliminating tariffs on certain proposed products.
said that as the proposal did not include the products it had requested, it could not
agree to the list unless substantial changes were made. India expressed serious concern
that certain security-related products that it considered to be non-IT products were on
the list. It stressed that there was no consensus on the proposal, adding that unless
fundamental changes were made, continuing on with the ITA II talks was not feasible.
Salvador said that intensive domestic consultations were still ongoing on the compromise
list. The Philippines said that it was not yet in a position to accept the list as the
required domestic public hearings have not yet been completed.
from the resumption of the ITA II talks in February 1999, the Committee also agreed on
other aspects of its work programme in the new year as proposed by Ambassador Saborio, who
is also Chairman of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods:
The Committee will continue its efforts to ensure that non-tariff measures do not
impede the free flow of information technology products. Its constructive work in the area
of standards was noted.
The Committee will continue consultations regarding divergences in classifying IT
products, noting work already undertaken on semiconductor manufacturing and testing
equipment, and printed circuit board/printed wiring board manufacturing equipment.
Committee noted that participants have undertaken consultations regarding implementation.
The outcome of these consultations is reflected in the listing "Clarification of
Certain Products in the Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology
Products" of 20 November 1998.
participants expressed interest in convening a symposium in 1999 on information technology
that would involve members of the IT community and the Committee. The Committee has not
taken a decision on this initiative.