Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
Mr. Martin Harvey (New Zealand), presented to participants the following for consideration
in the capitals and consultations with domestic industry:
A list of some 200 ITA II
products proposed by a group of countries;
A revised ITA II draft
agreement providing for tariff elimination in four equal steps beginning on 1 July 1999
with complete elimination of customs duties by 1 January 2002, recognizing that extended
staging of reductions to no later than 1 January 2007 may be necessary in limited
A list of some 20 products to
be annexed to the draft agreement, whose coverage under the ITA would be confirmed.
Harvey said that his consultations had indicated that many participants believe that the
progress made in the ITA II negotiations, especially in intensive bilateral and
plurilateral negotiations held during the week, should not be lost.
said that the proposed ITA II package is "a modest but valuable package through which
we can still move the WTO work forward and score a minor victory for the multilateral
trading system that would be important against the background of the financial
expressed concern about the inclusion of products that it had objected to in the past:
radar, navigation equipment and satellite components. It stressed that any decision on a
final list should be through consensus. India added that it was not getting full ITA
benefits because of lack of technology transfer in the IT sector.
said that the products it had requested were not on the proposed list, and that it could
not agree to an ITA II package that left out these products.
respect to the December meeting, the Philippines said that domestic procedures would not
allow it to make a speedy decision on the ITA II package.
WTO Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products (ITA) was agreed
at the first WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 1996 in Singapore. It provides
for participants to eliminate customs duties and other duties and charges on information
technology products (contained in the annexes) by the year 2000, on an m.f.n. basis
(applied to all WTO members). The ITA also provided an opportunity for participants to
expand the agreement's product coverage (ITA II) through negotiations. Last February, the
Committee started considering proposals in this regard from 14 participants. There are
currently 44 participants to the ITA, which together account for 93 per cent of world
trade in information technology products.