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7 July 2006

The Dominican Republic joins WTO's Information Technology Agreement

The Committee of Participants on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products approved, on 7 July 2006, the participation of the Dominican Republic, which became the 68th member of the WTO's Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

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Information Technology Agreement

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The other ITA participants are: Albania; Australia; Bahrain; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Costa Rica; Croatia; Egypt; El Salvador; European Communities; Georgia; Hong Kong, China; Honduras; Iceland; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Korea; Kyrgyz Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; Mauritius; Moldova; Morocco; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Norway; Oman; Panama; Philippines; Romania; Saudi Arabia; Chinese Taipei; Singapore; Switzerland (on behalf of the customs union Switzerland and Liechtenstein).; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States. The EC schedule comprises the commitments of the 25 EC member states.

This WTO agreement is helping push the information technology revolution forward. Beginning in 2000, most of the world trade in information technology products (worth $1,134 billion in 2004 for office and telecom equipment, a large part of which are IT products) became completely free of tariffs under ITA. Participation in the ITA means that the country must eliminate tariffs and all other duties and charges on covered IT imports from all WTO members.

From the 29 participants that negotiated the ITA during WTO’s First Ministerial Conference in Singapore in December 1996, membership has now risen to 68 that account for more than 97% of world trade in IT products.

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