20 Years of the Information Technology Agreement

Boosting trade, innovation and digital connectivity

Over the past 20 years, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) has increased worldwide access to high-tech goods, such as computers, mobile phones and semiconductors. To mark the 20th anniversary of the ITA, this publication analyses the impact of the ITA on its participants and on worldwide trade in IT products, demonstrating how the Agreement has not only made high-tech products more affordable but has also helped to promote innovation and to support developing economies’ integration into global production networks.

Finalized at the first WTO Ministerial Conference in 1996, the ITA commits its participants to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of IT products with an annual value of approximately US$ 1.7 trillion. This publication reviews how the Agreement has evolved over the past two decades, including through the recent expansion of the ITA which eliminates tariffs on an additional 201 IT products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year.

The publication also highlights what still needs to be done to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of providing universal and affordable access to the Internet so that the benefits of the digital revolution can be enjoyed by all.

Published in 2017.

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