days of gruelling negotiations and discussions, there has been some movement and some
welcome breakthroughs in some quarters, Mr. Harvey told the Committee.
Unfortunately, the various interests and sensitivities of participants have not
allowed a consensus to be reached on a package of products.
He added that
among a core of countries, I believe there is the makings of a package but certain
key obstacles must be removed in our path--I hope these can be overcome.
Chairman said that his consultations with delegations reveal that there is still a
determination to try to resolve outstanding differences. Therefore I propose that I
suspend these negotiations today as delegations need more time to reflect on their
positions and the possibilities on the table, and to reflect on some creative solutions to
said that he intended to consult with delegations before the end of September to
determine whether there is still the possibility of reaching agreement on a final
Harvey stressed the need for a willingness to work for a solution and indications of
the flexibility and creativity needed for a solution". He expressed the hope
that we can maintain the cooperative atmosphere so that we give this negotiations
the best chance of success.
Note to Editors:
WTO Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products (ITA) was agreed
at the close of the Singapore Ministerial Conference on 13 December 1996. It provides for
participants to eliminate customs duties and other duties and charges on information
technology products by the year 2000 on an m.f.n. basis (applied to all WTO members).
ITA participants, in February 1998, began considering proposals for expanding the product
coverage of the agreement (ITA II). The 44 participants account for more than 93 per cent
of world trade in IT products.